Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger – his daughter, twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails. With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations.
This is an amazing novel by Conor O’Callaghan telling the story of Paddy and his relationships with his daughter, his wife and his brother. Paddy lived in the US with his wife and daughter. However, following the breakdown of his marriage Paddy is now in the UK and a lost soul.
The story opens when Paddy accepts a job driving a HGV through France. He has borrowed the HGV from Howard, a friend through darts. Howard is terminally ill and allows Paddy, or Pat as he insists on calling him, to borrow the HGV under the supervision of Carl. Carl appears throughout the story as a slightly seedy character who you never warm to. The story takes place on that journey and we are taken back and forth through his life and his relationships with his mother, his marriage, relationship with his daughter and ultimately his affair.
His daughter accompanies him on the journey and in telling their story O’Callaghan’s creates one of several powerful threads in the story. The love between the Dad and his daughter are nearly too painful to read. They love each so much but cannot show it. The love is fragile and are afraid that if they show the love, they are afraid it will break each other.
Another powerful thread is the story of the affair. Their passion, sex and love oozes from the pages as we follow their relationship. She is in a loveless marriage and he is too damaged for the relationship to develop.
A tale of missed opportunities, lost love and heartbreak which for me got better as it went along. It was thanks to Fíodhna Ní Ghríofa that I got an advance copy. The book is published on 13th April, I urge you to pre-order it at your nearest bookshop for a special read.
Published by Penguin Ireland

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