Book Review: Redemption Road, by Lisa Ballantyne

Publisher: Little Brown Book Group UK  |  Publication date: 16th July 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Netgalley)

Overall I found this a quiet, gentle and fairly ‘uneventful’ read. It captures the life of Margaret, a teacher involved in a nasty car pile up Redemption Road by Lisa Ballantyneand is rescued by a ‘guardian angel’ with horrific facial scarring. She later visits him in hospital, but somehow the entire experience and meeting this stranger releases a dam of memories which come flooding back to almost drown her emotionally.

The story covers a period of 1985 to 2013 and travels back and forth in time for each character. With only a few main ones it’s not difficult to follow. There’s Margaret herself, Big George with his big heart, and the devout Angus (a reporter) whose behaviour confounded me.

Unless I’ve missed something fundamental, I cannot fathom what significance Angus’s bullying and wife beating brought to the story other than making me feel uncomfortable. For me the detailed descriptions of this his character’s antics didn’t enhance the tale it just made me cringe, and after his meddling / participation he just seemed to disappear.

In principle the story sounded as though it would engage me, but in truth I found myself skim reading from around a third of the way through to reach the end. This was hard for me as I love to savour the words in every book, after all someone has spent a long hard time creating every one of them. But I was flicking through the pages hoping for a twist or some kind of significant revelation, which never materialised for me.

I’d still rate this 3/5 as in fairness to the author the writing IS incredibly lovely, there’s some nice passages and it did flow well between the different time periods. I just didn’t feel the suspense and grit I’d expected, as described in the book summary.

Rating: 3/5

(I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review and permitting me to download this title from Netagalley – it’s much appreciated.)

Redemption Road Book Description

(Extract taken from Netgalley)

The crash is the unravelling of Margaret Holloway. Trapped inside a car about to explode, she is rescued by a scarred stranger who then disappears. Margaret remembers little, but she’s spent her life remembering little – her childhood is full of holes and forgotten memories. Now she has a burning desire to discover who she is and why her life has been shrouded in secrets. What really happened to her when she was a child? Could it have anything to do with the mysterious man who saved her life?

Flitting effortlessly between past and present, this is a suspenseful, gritty and emotionally charged journey of an estranged father and daughter, exploring the strength of family ties and our huge capacity for forgiveness.


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