Rules of the Road is the touching story of two best friends who take a first and last road trip together and discover the true meaning of their friendship along the way.
Terry is a wife, mother and doer for everyone else. Completely taken advantage of by her family, it’s just her job. From finding ties for her husband, to dropping everything for a daughter who just broke up with a boyfriend to planning vacations, Terry does it all. And she relishes it. Terry does not live outside her comfort zone afraid of what she may find there, or what she may fail to find there.
Iris is her best friend. Iris has decided to go on a trip of a lifetime and never come back. You see, Iris is single and has Multiple Sclerosis, and rather than become a burden she would rather leave this earth before her illness begins to completely consume her which it has already started to do.
When Terry finds out about Iris’ plan, she drops everything to try and convince her that she has so much more to live for. She decides to go with Iris on her journey to persuade her that her life is worth living. This, Terry is sure will give her great distress in so many ways. Terry must also take along her father Eugene who is in the throws of dementia. His nursing home is being exterminated and he has no one else able to take care of him.
This pilgrimage will take the three of them to places they never would have imagined seeing and put t
hem in situations they could never dream. Their travels are often funny and poignant and filled with excitement, but always looming is the end of their journey.
During the trip, Terry begins to have revelations about her past as well as with her present situation. She realizes she may not have ever been living her true life. Her life so far has al
ways been wanting and needing acceptance from others, fearing of letting them down, fear of so many situations she just decided to stop trying. Perhaps, she begins to think, SHE is the only one she has been letting down all these years.
Rules of the Road is a charming, amusing, sensitive story of learning to let go…letting go of your fears, letting go of your ideas about yourself and others, and especially letting go of loved ones. I suppose you can have a rite of passage at any age, it’s just about knowing which direction you want to go and that will decide your next path.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ciara Geraghty was born and raised in Dublin. She started writing in her thirties and hasn’t looked back. She has three children and one husband and they have recently adopted a dog who, alongside their youngest daughter, is in charge of pretty much everything.
Author Website: http://www.ciarageraghty.com/
Q&A with Ciara Geraghty
Q: What message do you hope readers take away from Rules of the Road?
A: First and foremost, I hope they enjoy it. My mantra for writing is ‘A good tale, well told’. I don’t write fables or books with morals to be endured and lessons to be learned. I write about people and the messiness of their lives. Because, as everyone knows, life is messy. And complex. And complicated. I want my readers to read one of my books and maybe come away feeling less alone. That is the comfort I take from books as a reader, when I come across characters I can relate to.
Q: What’s the story behind the story of how you came to write it?
A: Female friendship and solidarity have always been very important to me. I wanted to examine the importance of female friendship, the impact it has, the difference it makes. When I was writing the book, we had two referendums in Ireland – marriage equality and access to abortion and both were passed with resounding majorities. While my book does not deal with these specific issues, it is a book about personal autonomy, bodily autonomy, a woman’s right to choose. My subject matter suddenly felt very relevant and positive and hopeful. While the book has a dark heart – Iris, one of my main characters, is determined to end her life in a clinic in Switzerland – I always meant for the book to be ultimately uplifting and life-affirming; a love song sung by women.
During the writing of the book, my father was dying of dementia. I found the writing of Eugene – Terry’s father in ‘Rules’ who has dementia – a very cathartic experience. This is one of the great things about writing; it helps me make sense of the world and the way I feel about it.
Q: Do you have any specific writing rituals (outfit, snacks, pen,music, etc)?
A: Well, I’d love to get all ‘writery’ and say that I repair to a tall tower where I wander around in a caftan and smoke cigarettes from long, slender cigarette holders and wait for the MUSE to arrive…..Now, wouldn’t that be grand!
Instead, I write at home, in the attic, at a desk, with a laptop. How pedestrian is that? I will say that, for me, the most important part of the process is getting my butt into the seat at the desk. The chair is an all-singing, all-dancing display of ergonomic engineering (it’s got wheels!) and this is important because one thing is for sure; I’m going to be sitting on it for a LONG time. Caftan and cigarette holders are optional (and rarely employed) but the rule I absolutely insist on is never, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, wait for the MUSE to arrive. I just steel myself and start writing. Even when I don’t want to. Especially when I don’t want to. Otherwise I’ll convince myself that the words have all dried up and the cupboard is bare.
Q: Which character do you most relate to in this novel and why?
A: There are certain traits that I have in common with aspects of both Terry and Iris. Like Iris, I am a year-round sea swimmer. Like Terry, I am a mother who is coming to terms with the fact that some of her children are – technically – grown-ups. I have lived with both of these characters for the past four years and love them both equally, for different reasons. I’d say I relate more to Terry because Iris, for the most part, has it all figured out. She is a woman who knows what she wants and then goes right ahead and gets it. Terry is less certain, she is still feeling her way through her life. She tries so hard to be all things to all people, to the detriment of her own sense of self. As a woman writer who is also a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend, I relate to this aspect of Terry. I imagine many women these days do. It is the great burden of being a woman, as well as being one of our great strengths.
Q: What is your bucket-list trip?
A: In the current climate, even thinking about a bucket-list trip feels a bit revolutionary. Or like a plot in a science-fiction novel. However, I can reveal that tomorrow, I’m off to Kerry (in the south west of Ireland) for a week. For anyone who has never been to Kerry, I advise you to put it on your bucket-list immediately. Because of the mountains – the highest in Ireland – and the winds that rush in from the Atlantic ocean, rain is a frequent visitor there. BUT – because of the rain, the vegetation is vivid and lush and almost tropical, with the influence of the Gulf Stream. The place is falling down with ancient castles, monasteries, fairy forts and islands (including Skellig Michael for the Star Wars fans amongst you). The Atlantic may be ‘fresh’ (this is Irish for ‘biting cold’) but the waters are crystal clear and the sand is fine and white and an excellent exfoliator of skin. Afterwards, in the pub where you’re eating a bowl of seafood chowder and struggling to eavesdrop on the locals (the accent is as thick as an Aran jumper), you’ll suddenly realise you’re tingling all over. This could be your blood, doing its best to resume normal circulation after the icy immersion in the sea. Or it could be something else. Something a little more other-worldly. The magic of Kerry, rushing through your body, seeping into your bones, engaging every sense you’ve ever had. And a few you didn’t even know you had. Can you tell I’m looking forward to getting away?
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this emotional, life-affirming novel, two women embark on an extraordinary road trip and discover the transformative power of female friendship–perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Gail Honeyman.
The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us? All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.
When Iris Armstrong goes missing, her best friend Terry—wife, mother and all-around worrier—is convinced something bad has happened. And when she finds her glamorous, feisty friend, she’s right: Iris is setting out on a bucket-list journey that she plans to make her last. She tells Terry there’s no changing her mind, but Terry is determined to show her that life is still worth living.
The only way for Terry to stop Iris is to join her—on a road trip that will take them on a life-changing adventure. Along the way, somehow what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best. Told in an irresistible voice and bursting with heart, Rules of the Road is a powerful testament to the importance of human connection and a moving celebration of life in all its unexpected twists and turns.
Thank you to #NetGalley #HarperCollins #RulesoftheRoad #CiaraGeraghty for the advanced copy. You an buy the book now at the available links: