Road Trip appeals to a modern romantic aesthetic

Is it chick lit? Is it a travelogue? Is it a romance novel?

The Road Trip is a little bit of all these things, a fun distraction but probably designed for someone a little younger than long married and menopausal me.

Author Beth O’Leary tells the story of Dylan and Addie, exes forced to road trip across England for a mutual friend’s wedding. Interwoven with flashbacks to the couple’s love story, the journey is humorously awkward, filled with hijinks, detours and a few wrong turns.

Here’s a line that proved I might not be the target audience:

Wahoo was one of the Oxford nightclubs—actually a sports bar that transformed itself for students at night. It always smelled of sweet corn and inexplicably played the shopping channel on its TV screens while the DJ blasted out something by Flo Rida.

Who is Flo Rida? Well, she’s a he, an American rapper known for such jewels as “Low,” “Jump” and “Sugar.” I’m not even interested enough to click on one of his You Tube videos. But a 20-something might be interested, I don’t know.

Besides describing a nightclub by its odor of sweet corn, which is pretty clever, O’Leary uses other descriptive language:

Already the heat is as thick as honey, viscous and sweet. It’s turning into a glorious summer morning: the sky is a deep lapis lazuli blue, and the fields are sun-kissed and yellow-bright on either side of the road. It’s the sort of day that tastes of crushed ice and suntan lotion, ripe strawberries, the sweet head rush of too many gin and tonics.

Isn’t that lovely? I can feel the day. The plot is a little bit bubblegum, but O’Leary manages to create fully realized characters and plausible conflicts. It wasn’t good enough to inspire me to pick up another O’Leary title, but then, I’m not a huge fan of fiction. I read The Road Trip for our family book club, populated entirely by women except for my uncle, who gamely tolerates our feminine biases.

If you’re looking for something light, clever and modern, you might like the journey offered by The Road Trip.

I appreciate you, regular readers of Minnesota Transplant. So glad you drop by now and again. I’ve started a new project: a blog about prayer. Are you the praying sort? You might find it right up your alley. Check it out by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s