Leaving Ocean Road reviewed by Tara

Ellen’s accent divulges her Irish heritage but her heart is firmly grounded in the South Australian community of Port Lincoln, where she has lived for twenty years with her Greek husband, Nick, and their daughter, Louise. The area is rich with their shared memories, their lives are interwoven with the locals and they are working to achieve Nick’s dreams for their future.

Their happiness is shattered when Nick is killed in an accident. Initially Ellen finds the strength to do what needs to be done, and to support Louise to continue her plans to start university in Adelaide. But once Louise leaves, Ellen finds it hard to return to work, to clean her house, to shop regularly, to pay her bills, to collect her mail.

Thus a letter from Ireland is not read until the sender has already arrived in Port Lincoln. It is too late for Ellen to make up an excuse to postpone a visit from her former high-school boyfriend. With the help of her best friend she quickly clears the evidence of nine months of hibernation and prepares for Garry’s unexpected visit.

Ellen cautiously begins to live again. Her journey forward from Nick’s death involves her travelling from Port Lincoln to Greece and then Ireland, as she grieves for the past, celebrates her memories and begins to plan for the future. A treasured friendship is rekindled and a secret, that has been long hidden, is revealed with startling consequences.

Leaving Ocean Road is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon. It is easy to read and engaging. There are plenty of unexpected events hidden within the chapters to sustain the urge to continue turning the pages until the very end.

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