Cover Image: Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road

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Member Reviews

Favorite Quotes:

But she’ll be stressed about it and pretending she’s not stressed at all, which, in my experience, makes the thing you’re stressed about even more stressful.

This must be a swanky part of London because the charity shop is like a proper boutique with an accessories section and an immaculately turned-out young woman with terrifying eyebrows behind the counter and a bright, fresh smell that has no bearing on old, discarded clothes and worn-out shoes.

Vera rummages through a chest of drawers in the corner, dropping various bras and scarves on the floor until she finds a T-shirt with a picture of Tom Jones’s face on the front and the word “Sexbomb” printed below it.

Dementia likes the quiet. I picture the disease like an olden day’s librarian; all tutting and shushing. And usually I oblige.

The awful thing about thoughts is there’s no getting away from them. They’re right there. Going around and around on a track in your head like a toy train.

Motorbikes are on my list of terrors. High on the list. I’d prefer the girls to tell me they were, I don’t know, drug addicts, rather than owners of a motorbike. You can always go to rehab. But there’s no coming back from the morgue.

There is a collection of words, queueing at the back of my throat. Jostling against the back of my teeth. If I open my mouth, they will tumble out and none of them will be sufficient. None of them will be enough.

My Review:

This poignant and emotive story held a highly unusual premise and was rather ingeniously plotted and narrated through the highly anxious, introspective, and frustrated lens in the first person POV of the main character of Terry.  The writing style was agile, evocative, and cleverly amusing as well as heart squeezing.  If you were hoping for a fast-paced adventure and a road trip full of hi-jinx, you need to keep looking.  This is a thoughtfully written yet highly engaging character-based tale with real-world issues while generously seasoned with humorous observations and vibrant imagery. 

Two best friends, Iris and Terry, along with Terry’s elderly dementia patient father, impetuously struck out on a journey from Dublin to Zurich in Terry’s older car, to complete a personal mission for Iris, one that Terry hoped would not conclude as Iris had meticulously planned.  Terry had insinuated herself into Iris’s plan at the last minute hoping to change the end result before reaching their destination.  

Iris was besieged with the progressive physical deterioration, discomforts, and limitations of a chronic disease and did not relish living the remainder of her life trapped in her body – which is an issue that resonated intensely with me, as this is a personal fear of my own.  Terry’s elderly father’s advancing Dementia was a constant concern and bone wearying challenge, which was deftly and sensitively handled with a surprisingly informative and often humorous approach to the complications.  

Their odyssey was slow, quite arduous, and fraught with anxieties and a plethora of imagined catastrophes for Terry, a nervous driver who was afraid of the motorway and drove so slowly that even elderly drivers honked and swore at her. The trio experienced numerous detours and escapades as well as eye-opening insights and out of her comfort zone adventures that powered profound changes for Terry.  The ending was not one I expected yet was realistic and surprisingly satisfying as I continue to ruminate over Ms. Geraghty’s clever missive.  I have a feeling these characters are going to continue to inhabit my headspace for quite some time.
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***** Blog Tour *****

The rules of the road are literal and figurative. In a book that includes serious issues - dementia, multiple sclerosis, and assisted end of life, Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty is really about a woman navigating through her own outlook and approach to life. A book dealing with such serious issues ends up a sweet story of self-discovery and friendship that leaves me more nostalgic than sad. 

Read my complete review at 

Reviewed for NetGalley and a publisher's blog tour.
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Rules Of The Road, by Ciara Geraghty, is a novel that moved me and will stay with me for a very long time.
Terry discovers her best friend Iris has gone missing. Finding her takes Terry, Iris and Terry's befuddled father, Eugene, on a remarkable journey that will change their lives forever. What should be the worst six days of Terry's life turn into the best.
This story is an unexpected, bittersweet journey of self-discovery. A tale about true friendship and going that extra mile for someone.
Highly Recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin - Trade Publishing/Park Row for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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I’m trying to come up with the words to describe this book. It’s powerful and moving, heartbreaking and uplifting. It explores the meaning of friendship and getting lost in one’s own life. It left me with a whole mix of emotions, but ultimately it gave me hope, which may seem a little weird.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I do need to add a trigger warning for suicide, as the topic is pivotal to the story. In addition to suicide, MS {multiple sclerosis} and dementia also play key roles.

The story takes us on a road trip from Ireland through London, across France and ultimately to Zurich. Along the way Terry, her dad, and her best friend Iris run into some interesting people who help them out along the way.

Everything happens from Terry’s point of view as we get a first person look at her fears, hang ups, and belief that everything will ultimately work out ok. Even as she struggles through caring for her father, whose reality is limited by his advanced dementia, and trying to keep Iris from making what Terry is sure is a huge mistake, Terry learns that she is stronger than she ever believed. As Terry comes to know herself in new ways, she starts to question everything about her life.

Terry’s character has great evolution, as does Iris’s character as well. Iris opens herself up to needing a friend, namely Terry, more than she originally believed. The two friends experience a stronger bond and a greater understanding of each other, and of life through their trip.

This book make me think, made me laugh, and it made me cry, but it was a great read!

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book through Harlequin Book Tours on behalf of Park Row through Net Galley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The good; Ciara Geraghty is a beautiful writer; the story is told smoothly and in a voice that immediately makes you perk up and pay attention.

The not-so-good; between a friend determined to end her life due to the onset of MS, a father riddled with dementia, and a mother who has already passed on, this is very heavy material, and it won't be for everyone. As much as I appreciated the bittersweet nod to the changing seasons of life, in fact, this wasn't for me.

I am hoping by the end of the read it reached a point of being more uplifting but I didn't reach that point.
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Women's fiction can be a hit or a miss for me, and all too often leans toward the former. This one landed firmly in the hit category. The story is emotional and it touches on some tough topics, some harder to read than others. Hard to read or not, the whole thing is beautifully done, and Ciara Geraghty has a writing style that is both compelling and compulsive. I realize that I'm being vague, which is intentional so I don't spoil the read for anyone. I will say that this story is so much more than the blurb suggests. These characters certainly touched me, and I won't soon forget them or their journey. If you enjoy women's fiction and drama, I would definitely recommend this one.
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RULES OF THE ROAD by Ciara Geraghty is a beautifully written and poignant women’s fiction story of friendship, family, and love. It is an emotional journey from start to finish and I was in a complete book hangover/coma when I was hit the end. (Have some tissues handy for not only the sad tears, but the happy.)

Terry is a wife, a mother of two grown daughters, the rock of her family and an all-around worrier. Everything must be in its place and every precaution must be taken. The girls are gone now, but she has found out she needs to pick up her father, who has Alzheimer’s from his care home for the week. 

When they return to home, Terry realizes she has not seen her best and basically only friend and neighbor, Iris recently. Iris loves life. She is bold, says anything and is willing to try anything. But since Iris was diagnosed with primary progressive MS, Terry worries. Iris has been dealing with her disease, but it is and will get progressively worse. When she checks out Iris’ home, she finds her friend has made plans for a journey that will be her last.

Terry knows the only way to stop Iris is to join her. Terry, her father, Eugene and Iris take off on a six-day road trip from Ireland to Switzerland that will change all of their lives.

For me, this book is written with some of the most realistic and memorable characters of any women’s fiction book I have read so far this year. A friendship that at first glance seems strange, but then you realize their friendship is based on a deep love and caring that may not always be spoken, but it is heartfelt and strong. Iris had decided on her path and she enjoys the trip to its fullest, but in the end, she discovers she needs her friend to be with her and she does not want to be alone. Terry is the character that grows and blooms the most along every hour of their trip. Her interactions with her father, her wanting to change her best friend’s mind, the discovery of her own freedom and strengths, all converge in an emotional awakening that this author was able to capture beautifully with the written word. All the secondary characters were also fully fleshed and add an additional depth and realism to the story.

I cannot say enough about this beautiful story! 

I highly recommend Rules of the Road!
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Enjoyed the story but found it hard to read when I found out about Iris's illness. Solid writing and believable characters makes it worth reading up until the end. Check it out and see if it's your thing. Happy reading!
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I liked the idea of Rules of the Road much more than the actual book. It ended up being just OK for me. I found it a bit predictable, especially the ending. Terry and Iris ended up exactly where I expected them to end up. I had a really hard time warming up to either Terry or Iris. I think this book will make you think. It deals with the tough subject of euthanasia. It also shows the reality of Alzheimer's. So keep both of those things in mind if you choose to give this one a try. For me it made me uncomfortable and that kind of ruined my reading experience. I did like Terry's father. He was an interesting character and added some well needed relief. I think this is one that you will have to try out for yourself.
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Rules of the Road is a story of two lifelong friends who set out on a journey, a journey that one friend had planned to take alone. What she did not plan on, was what lengths a best friend will take to be by your side, no matter what.

Iris wants to go on a one-way trip as she is suffering with MS and thinks it is better that she tells no one what she is planning to do. When her best friend Terry finds out, she makes it her mission to go with Iris at all costs along with her father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s who happens to be with her at the time.

This journey takes them through different adventures, meeting new people and discovering what friendship is truly about. Saying any more would give away the ending of the book!

Ciara Geraghty’s writing style wraps the reader right into the story and the characters. It was beautifully written, and I loved that this story touched on so many emotions. It is a story you won’t soon forget. I rated it 4 stars only because of topic of the book. For me it was a little hard to deal with until the characters started evolving. Thank you so much to the author Ciara Geraghty, Harlequin and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book to review.  All opinions expressed for this review are unbiased and entirely my own.
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When I got an email from Harlequin Publishing with a list of their summer reads this one was listed in the group.  I read the description (although apparently not very well because once I started to read it, it was nothing that I expected) and excitedly signed up to read and review this book.  

Terry is living the Irish dream.  Gorgeous house in a good address area, two children are grown and out of the house living their own lives and a loving and caring husband.  She has a best friend named, Iris.  One day Iris isn’t at her home but she finds a letter addressed to her and finds out that she is going to Zurich to end her life with assisted suicide. To make matters worse Terry also has her father with her since his nursing facility is being fumigated for vermin.  Her father has Dementia that is progressively getting worse.  First off, this book is emotional.  I wasn’t sure how I actually liked it.  The subject matter is deep.  I was left drained while reading it.  There is no happy ending and I think that is what left me drained.  I knew what was coming the whole entire time.  The author did an amazing job of writing about subject matter that isn’t exactly for the faint of heart.  

In the end, I really did like this book.  It may have taken me a little bit to get into it but when I actually did it definitely flowed.  I could relate to Terry in so many ways.  She used the trip with Iris and rediscover who she is or actually discover herself.  She lost herself somewhere along the way while raising her children. Not that I have lost myself in the raising of my kids but as my kids get older I need to work things I used to love back into my life again.   She desperately wants to save her friend, she doesn’t want to lose her.  She is struggling to care for her father who doesn’t remember much except for a Frank Sinatra story.  I have lost a Grandfather to Alzheimer’s.  Shortly before he died he didn’t recognize me, he called me several other names but not one of them my actual name.  This was a man that I spent a lot of time with during the summer since they lived close to us.  It was heartbreaking.  In the end, before he died my Dad didn’t want me to visit him.  He wanted me to remember him for the good times and not the end.  For that I am grateful.   In the end, I definitely think that I will be putting this in my top 10 round-up of books for 2020.  While the subject matter wasn’t pleasant it was still a powerful read.  If her other books are like this I will probably be checking them out.
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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 them 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 always 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.

Thank you to #NetGalley #HarperCollins #RulesoftheRoad #CiaraGeraghty for the advanced copy.
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Terry and Iris are best friends. Iris has MS and when she goes missing, Terry is understandably worried. The author sends them and Terry's father on a journey that will change things for all of them. 

Six days, three people and a whirlwind adventure that is heartbreaking, challenging liberating and gripping. 

What it means to be friends, have challenges and embrace what life gives you is entertwined with strong characters and emotional writing. In Rules of the Road, Ciara Geraghty has created a tearjerker of a novel that is also a measure of human strength and resilience. 

I loved this novel so much and road trips are always interesting as they show us all the facets of what people really think of life. We discover a lot about the characters and their take on life. 

Thanks to Ciara Geraghty and publsher for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars.
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I wish to thank Net Galley and the Harlequin Trade Publishing Company for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.  I have voluntarily read and reviewed it.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is not a book that I would normally choose to read but I am so glad that I did.  It is a strong book of family and family issues, friendships and the choices one makes in life. It deals with tough medical and family issues. 

Terry has grown children and a distant husband with little closeness in their lives.  Her best friend Iris suffers from Progressive MS and has decided she wants to go to Switzerland to end her life on her own terms.   Iris asks Terry to go with her.  Terry’s father has dementia and she needs to remove him from his care facility and bring him home and this story is an adventure for the three of them on a road trip that changes all of their lives.  The characters are fun, complicated and endearing and the reader becomes a part of the adventure as you read the story and travel with them on this journey.

I loved it and look forward to reading more of her books.  She really gets you involved in the story.
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A great story that made me smile and move, poignant and heartwarming at the same time.
I rooted for the well thought characters and was hooked till the end.
it's the first book i read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is a book about friendship and when to hold on and when to let go.

Terry is a very routine oriented person whose family and friends all have a place and fit into certain boxes.  Until her friend Iris leaves her a letter about heading to Zurich to deal with her MS the way she wants to before it gets too bad.  This does not fit into Terry's box.  Terry ends up on and adventure with her dad and Iris across Europe as she does her best to talk Iris into turning around.  Not having a planned trip ahead of her truly let's her experience some of what she's been missing by sticking to her routines.
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This novel opens up with the women we know as Iris. Iris has been dealt a heavy hand with her diagnosis of MS. However, this isn't going to bring Iris down, and she's bound and determine to do what she wants, when she wants it, which includes completely disappearing. Leaving a note behind, Iris embarks on her own journey. However, her friends aren't too impressed, and her friend Terry decides to go looking for her. Her journey is shared with her father, who suffers from dementia. Together they all learn much more about themselves than they ever thought possible. 

I wanted to like this book, and thought it would be a light, airy read, however, I found myself rather sad while reading it. MS is such a daunting and sad topic to read about, and to read about the struggles was more emotional than I was willing to feel during a novel. While the story is good, and the relationships between the characters are wonderful, it was just a bit too much for me.

Rate: 3/5
Author: Ciara Geraghty
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This was not an easy book to read. It was heartbreaking and touching at the same time. The writing was beautiful. It was descriptive and lyrical and drew me right in. This is a story of friendship, a friendship that only comes around once in awhile.

Terry is married to Brendan, and has two grown daughters. She is at a crossroads, no longer a stay at home mom, and feeling complacent in her relationship. Her father has dementia and is living in a home, but it is being fumigated, so she picks him up to stay for a few days. Her best friend Iris, has progressive MS and her condition is quickly deteriorating. When she tries to get ahold of Iris at her yoga retreat, she finds out she is not there and was never registered. Heading over to her cottage to check on her, she finds a note that will lead her, her father and Iris on a road trip where only two will come back.

The road trip is quite eventful. Iris, Terry and her dad get themselves into some rather humorous situations, do a lot of self-reflection and get to know each other better than they ever thought they would. This is a story of self-discover, friendship, family and acceptance. There are some tough subjects in this story, ethical suicide, dementia, new beginnings after losing your job, and more. This was a poignant story that I couldn't put down once I started. I wanted to find out what was going to happen not only to Iris, but to Terry and her family. I learned a bit about Progressive MS and some of the symptoms. I also saw a bit of the impact of dementia on family members, especially those that have taken on the role of carer. This was an emotional story with a very human side and definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a human story. This is not all doom and gloom, I enjoyed the happy times they shared on this road trip and reminded me once again how important it is to look for the positives and happiness in life while you can. This is one of those stories with characters that will stay with me for awhile.
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In Ciara Geragthy's novel, Rules of the Road, Terry is having a difficult day. Her father's nursing home calls her to tell her they must fumigate the home so Terry has to take her father, who has dementia, home for few days.

Terry wants to deliver a birthday cake to her best friend Iris who is at a yoga retreat. When she calls the retreat, they tell her that Iris is not there and hasn't made a reservation. Worried, Terry goes to Iris' home and discovers that Iris is getting on a ferry from Dublin to England, and she plans to go to a clinic in Switzerland where she will end her life.

Iris has MS, and although she is doing fairly well other than using crutches to get around, she fears what the future holds for her. Terry has 90 minutes to get to the ferry and find Iris, so she brings her father along.

Unable to convince Iris to come home, Terry and her father get on the ferry and go with Iris to London. Terry has to keep an eye on her father so he doesn't wander off, and make sure that Iris doesn't abandon them until she can talk her out of going to the clinic.

Terry is a caretaker. She takes care of her home, her husband, and her two grown daughters, all of whom seem to depend on Terry to keep them going. It is out of character for Terry to just up and leave like this, and her family lets her know that.

Iris figures if Terry wants to tag along, then fine. Terry conquers her fear of driving in a big city, and the three set off on an adventure. She does her best to convince Iris that life is worth living, and hopes that Iris will eventually change her mind.

I enjoyed their time in France, where Terry has to save the day when their car breaks down. They end up at a mysterious castle B&B, where they meet the owner, whom Iris takes a shine to.

This road trip allows Terry to grow as person in her own right, be seen as not just as a daughter, wife and mother.  Her friendship with Iris also grows on the trip, as they come to a better understanding with each other.

One thing I found humorous was Terry's laundry observations. She knows how to get a stain out of anything. The observations about a long time married couple (Terry and her husband) were also particularly keen. Terry's tender loving care of her father is something that many people will also be able to relate too. It saddens her to watch her father fade away.

Rules of the Road is a buddy road trip story, with a dash of Jojo Moyes Me Before You. Watching Terry break out of her shell thanks to her friendship with Iris is something joyful. I enthusiastically recommend Rules of the Road.

Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Summer Reads Blog Tour.
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This one was a little tricky for me to get through, although it did grow on me at the end.  Terry is a very routine oriented, take no risks type of woman.  She ends up on a roadtrip with her friend Iris, who is in advancing stages of MS and has an suicide appointment, and her father, in the advanced stages of dementia.  The idea of the story was interesting, especially considering what you might do if your best friend has this plan and couldn't be talked out of it.  As someone close to a person with advanced Altzheimer's, the idea of Terry having her father with her for this trip was uncomfortable.  Although the experiences he went through were ok in the end, I just couldn't help feeling profoundly sorry for him.  The book was a bit quirky and didn't flow very smoothly, but I did find myself wanting to get to the end and find out how everything resolved for the characters.  I was also proud of Terry for overcoming the things she was so afraid of.
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