Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens

Rush Home Road

byLori Lansens

Kobo ebook | February 24, 2009

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Lori Lansens became one of Canada’s most sought after writers more than a year before her internationally heralded first book, Rush Home Road, would see publication in April 2002. So immediately and passionately was her novel embraced that it was already front-page arts news back in April 2001. Knopf Canada was the first publisher to buy this extraordinary debut novel, but just before the 2001 London Book Fair, Little, Brown US bought the rest of the world rights for a major six-figure sum (for Rush Home Road and the author's yet-to-be-written second novel), and rights have now been sold in numerous countries.

The Globe and Mail reported the record-breaking news with full, front-page coverage, and Little, Brown International Rights Director Linda Biagi found herself talking of nothing else in London; she sold Rush Home Road to a further 9 territories with the manuscript still unedited. Biagi likened the book to some of the most important literary achievements of our time, saying, “It’s as if John Irving had written The Color Purple.” Louise Dennys, the Executive Publisher of Knopf Canada, describes it as “a novel of startling beauty and great heart that will immediately find a place within that small, special tribe of books beloved by readers the world over.”

The untold story of the descendants of the Underground Railroad

Heartbreaking and wise, Rush Home Road tells the life story of Adelaide Shadd, who finds redemption in old age, and Sharla, a five-year-old mixed race girl abandoned to Addy’s care by her white mother. Born in the first decade of the 20th century in Rusholme (inspired by the real town of Buxton), in southwestern Ontario, an all-black community settled by fugitive slaves, Addy Shadd is raped as a teenager and forced to flee the family home. She makes her way on foot to Detroit, where she becomes the housekeeper for an elderly man and his grown son, both of whom develop a crush on her. When misfortune strikes again, she sets off to make a new life for herself in Canada. Thrown off the train at Keating, not far from her birthplace, she meets and eventually marries the train porter, the wonderful Mose, with whom she has a daughter. But when tragedy strikes, Addy is left alone.

Now an old woman, she lives a quiet existence in a trailer park near Chatham. Her whole world changes when a young mother asks her to babysit her daughter, as it soon becomes clear that the mother is never coming back. Addy is glad of the company, but not sure if she’s up to the job of mothering this sweet, awkward five-year-old. Nor is she sure how much longer she’ll be around to do so. How she manages is part of the story of this brilliantly captivating novel.

Written with verve, grace and unflinching emotional acuity, Rush Home Road is an epic story that explodes our notions of identity, justice, and heroism, penetrating one of our darkest periods with profound insight and humanity. Addy Shadd is a protagonist like no other -- full of quiet, steely bravery and tenderness of heart. This spellbinding novel will leave no reader untouched.

Lori Lansens has written several screenplays. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Title:Rush Home RoadFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 24, 2009Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030737128X

ISBN - 13:9780307371287


Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved, loved loved This novel takes place in the Chatham-Windsor-Detriot area. The main character is Addy Shadd, a young, black girl. It chronicles her life - past and present. A wonderful novel about love and triumph and the sometimes silent ways of honoring yourself. It also recognizes the power of angels who are always close and comforting.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will break your heart... ...and heal it again, but you will never be the same person after reading it! An amazing read.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow! must read!!! An excellent book, read it in 3 days. It is warm, funny and sad. Such a well written story. You will fall in love with the main character and won't be able to put this book done. I just picked up one of her other books and will be reading it shortly. I truly loved her writing!!!!! A must read!!! I had a lump in my throat a few times while reading!!!
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read!!! Recommendation from a friend - WOW - Was she ever right!!! So easy to read. Was constantly thinking about the characters, long after i finished the book. Highly recommend it to all
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rush Home Road is BRILLIANT! Rush Home Road is BRILLIANT! Lori Lansens is an incredible writer. She also develops characters so beautifully and sets many of her books in Ontario. This book is one of my absolute faves and I have recommended it to many who've agreed with my praise!
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable I haven't fell this madly in love with a book in years. The last time I closed a book and actually missed the characters was when I read The Time Traveller's Wife about 8 years ago. I read a previous review wherein someone referred to Addy as a "saint", but she really wasn't. She was just a genuinely good, and loving person. She was a gift to Sharla and vice-versa. They needed each other. *There are spoilers in the following paragraph*. My heart couldn't handle a lot of things that happened in this beautiful book. I found myself with a lump in my chest and an ache in my stomach on numerous occasions. At certain points I had to stop, put the book down, and take a few mins (like the quick and casual way Lansens slipped into the story of Chick & Mose dying in the train accident). I wanted the book to last awhile, I didn't want it to be over, but I also NEEDED to know things (what happened to her children? what happened to her husband? will Sharla find her father?). As I finished the last page, glad I was alone because I was crying so much, I closed the book with a pain in my heart but so glad for the experience of reading it.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens I highly recommend this book which was truly engaging (I couldn't put it down) and was totally believable. It told the life story of a black woman, Adelaide (Addy), from her teenage years to old age. We see Addy's faults but we still have to admire her for her determination, courage and most of all, the goodness of her heart and her indomitable spirit.
Date published: 2015-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I could not put this book down! The story of Addy Shadd drew me in from the beginning. It was impossible not to laugh and cry with Addy Shadd. The writers description of Chatham, Windsor and Detroit, brought to life the characters Addy meet on her journey. This book is a must read.
Date published: 2015-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!! Heart breaking and heartwarming. Wonderful story I couldn't put down. Grew up not far from this area and knew some of the history but this story brings it to life.
Date published: 2015-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from PRAISE FOR RUSH HOME ROAD Lansens creates characters with depth and dimension so real that you feel their pain, glory and wisdom.
Date published: 2015-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good title with reference to content Loved this book could not put it down. Wonderful story telling. I do like novels that have characters complete life story.
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rush Home Road A friend went into a bookstore and asked the owner to recommend a book "with teeth." My friend left the bookstore with Rush Home Road in hand, and she liked the bite of it so much, she passed it on to me. That is how I encountered Rush Home Road eleven years after it was published. The title refers to the road leading away from, and back to, the town of Rusholme—a fictional all-black community based on the real-life community of Buxton, Ontario. Rusholme was a southern Ontario landing spot on the Underground Railroad, the path to freedom for slaves fleeing from the United States, and Lansens' heroine grows up in the town during the prohibition years. When Addy Shadd is on the cusp of womanhood, a tragic event, and an even more tragic misunderstanding, cause her to take the road out of town. Years later, when she is a 70-year-old living in a trailer park, a young child comes into her care. The challenges the child, Sharla, faces mirror those Addy faced as a child. In guiding Sharla to a better life, Addy unearths her own buried memories and traumas and clears the way for a return to Rush Home Road. Two stories intertwine here: a short one involving Sharla and the reasons for her abandonment, and a seven-decade long one detailing Addy's eventful life. To tell the interconnecting stories, Lansens crisscrosses present day and memory, but she does so seamlessly; flashbacks don't stand out as flashbacks. Lansens writes convincingly from the child-like view of Sharla and from the age-worn view of Addy. The result is a book that is both plot-driven and character-driven. This story is surprisingly uplifting, given that the two main characters are a poor black woman and a mixed-race trailer park child, both abandoned by their mothers. Lansens infuses the characters and the stories with such hope and humanity that the tale never feels too daunting. There are irretrievable losses and failings left unforgiven, but there are also friendships, new loves and salves applied to wounds. The bookstore owner was right. This story has teeth, and I liked it.
Date published: 2014-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Seriously moving. Heartrending. Incredibly vivid scenes. A must read. You won't put it down. Even when its breaking your heart.
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from RUSH out and buy! Another book in my top 5 of books read. The last time I read this book was 8 years ago and the characters are still loved, this would be one of those books I'd read every year except (SPOILER ALERT), I can't handle all the tears that come with it :) Lori Lansens is a great author her books come alive in your head. a Must read!
Date published: 2014-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing book! So, I went off to the cottage with a group of friends for a "Girls Weekend", and brought Rush Home Road along to read, figuring it would be a light, fluffy "beach book". Boy, was I wrong! As it turns out, I spent 2 days completely absorbed in this exeptional story. I was lost in Addy Shadds world, both past and present, and missed these characters when it was done...a MUST read!
Date published: 2011-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rush Home Lori Lansens takes you on a trip that spans past, present and a peek into the future. I didn't want the book to end because, really I did not want to know what was going to happen to them. You get so involved in their lives that it leaves you walking on egg shells. Great read.
Date published: 2010-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Good! I don't mean that I was surprised that this book was good. I mean that I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed it. I wasn't a huge fan of "The Girls" but decided to give this one a try and was so glad that I did. It is a beautiful story of love and self-discovery that really did have me laughing and crying most of the way through. While Addy's story was a bit intense (how many tragic things can happen to one person) it wasn't so far fetched that it ruined the story at all. The relationship between Sharla and Addy was beautiful and the rich descriptions of the characters made me fall in love with them both. The detail is so wonderful that I could see right into their lives and I felt as though I was right there with them throughout their journeys. This book has made its way onto my list of favorites. If you're thinking about reading this one, I highly suggest you not let it pass you by. It's a gem in a time when far too many dull, uncreative, and poorly written books are making their way onto our shelves.
Date published: 2010-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wanted more Lori Lansens is a true genius and gifted story teller... When I finished the book, I truly missed Addy Shadd ....
Date published: 2009-03-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Rush Home Road What a great book!! This is a book of love....and shows how one woman shows love to a child who is not even a blood relative. Watching Addy Shady take on a child that is not even hers late in her life is a powerful insightful read.
Date published: 2007-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Inspiring Read!! I found this book hard to put down! I felt that it spoke realistically of prejudice and torment that a lot of us don't really want to accept as possible. I have lent this book to family and their friends and all of spoken highly of it. A great read and heart rendering.
Date published: 2007-08-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Summer Read Character development is something Lori Lansens has a talent for and that is what saved this novel for me. The story itself seems too contrived and movie-like, but you do come to love Adelaide and all she does for Sharla. In the end I think this is a great read for a sunny day on the beach.
Date published: 2006-07-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "drawn in from the first word" Lori Lansens treats us to a literary delight in a fantastic Canadian novel. Juxtaposing the novel between past and present we are taken on a wonderful and touching journey in an exploration of love and relationships in the most unlikely pairings. Addy Shadd endures and comes out on the other side of prejudice and racism and teaches us all a few life lessons. A wonderful read, a must for the summer!!!
Date published: 2006-06-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Oprah-ish! What started off as an interesting story turned into an Oprah-ish type novel where the characters faced extreme drama at every turn and are faced with unbelievably unrealistic coincidences. I thought that the book would cover an interesting topic of the Underground Railroad as part of the novel took place in Chatham, Ontario, but it did not. I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it left me unfulfilled. I was surprised that the author didn't reunite her main character with her first love, although she DID literally stumble upon his grave. Bad writing, but I give it a 3 because some of the characters had potential.
Date published: 2005-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautifully written it is a captivating and driven narrative that is lyrical and compelling. fans of memoirs of a geisha and the red tent will love this book, it is moving and gives you that same warm feeling of satisfaction after taking a journey with the characters. you will definitely sigh with appreciation after reading this book and recommend it to everyone you meet, it is just that good.
Date published: 2005-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read!!! I could not put this book down and is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are so life-like that you feel like you know them. This story will tug at your heart strings and will keep you wanting for the book to never end.
Date published: 2004-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Imaginary Homeland As a being new-Canadian, I usually enjoy history books of Canada. This one is awesome one to portray black Canadian history in Ontario. I have read quite bit books about underground railroad and bootlegging in Canada, but I was not so hooked up like this one. Since English is not my first language, it usually take me at least a week to finish up this thick (over 500 pages), however for this one, I got so much interested ... ( I am also impressed about details of life in trailer park too! ) so I read up in two days in weekend. I got almost crying when I read this segment ... I thought this is like an old Japanese folklore story. Shed not for me your bitter tears Nor give thy soul to vain regret 'Tis but a casket lying here, the gem that fled it glitters yet. Chester Monk Born 1907 - Died 1973
Date published: 2003-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story... This book read like it was written with the sole intention to get on Oprah's book club list. That said, it was a worthwhile read especially to support a great Canadian author. The stories are rather melodramatic, and there is not a lot of subtlety in some of the main themes or what's going to happen next. That's okay though because nonetheless it makes for a good story that is sure to entertain. Sometimes when books go back and forth from past to present I enjoy one story more than the other and race through to get back to it, with this book it is all good. I would recommend this book and read other books by this author when they are published.
Date published: 2003-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Some of the best fiction I have ever read I heard about this book from a friend and decided to pick it up for myself. Best decision EVER! This book has all the makings of a classic -- It takes the reader on a journey through so many different times and places. You also feel like you are right there with Addy Shadd. This book begs to be read in one sitting and the ending leaves the reader completely heart-wrenched. I haven't cried so hard at a book, movie or life as I did at the end of Rush Home Road . Read this book now!
Date published: 2003-08-06