Rules of the Road

 Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty

Caution: Spoiler alert

I didn't love this one but I did keep going to see how it ended. It was fairly clear what the ending would be, but I was interested to see how the author would treat this sensitive subject and bring it to a conclusion.

It's about two middle-aged women, best friends Terry and Iris, the latter of whom is diagnosed with a degenerative, fatal illness. When Iris goes missing, Terry rushes to her house looking for clues to her whereabouts and finds a letter she wasn't meant to read until much later. The letter says Iris is taking her last road trip, heading for an assisted-suicide facility where she will end her life.

Terry sets out from Ireland to find her and, not too far from home, she does, but realizes the only hope she has of convincing her to change her mind is to travel with her the rest of the way. The clinic is in Zurich, and along the way they will find themselves in places and circumstances they could never have imagined. Complicating things is the fact that Terry's father, a dementia patient, is with her because the residence he lives in has shut down for two weeks to be fumigated.

The adventures they have along the way are sometimes funny but the shadow of what is coming hangs over Terry - and the reader - constantly. In the end they are all changed by their experiences and I think the intention is for us to see that as a positive outcome despite the ending. There are some laughs, yes, but I struggle with the issue of assisted suicide and so for me it's too sad, too tragic, to find much positive in it.


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