The Road Back is a split era novel set in the 1950s and 1995; it's a novel about relationships and how the past impacts upon the present. Set against a cultural background rarely featured in novels - that of the Buddhist part of Ladakh, a country to the west of Tibet - it tells of a passion that crosses cultures, of a love that lasts a lifetime, and of hope that can only come from revisiting the past.
When Patricia accompanies her father, Major George Carstairs, on a trip to Ladakh, north of the Himalayas, in the early 1960s, she sees it as a chance to step out from the shadow of her dead brother, James, and finally to win her father’s love.
What she doesn’t expect to do is meet Kalden – a local man destined by circumstances beyond his control to be a monk, but fated to be the love of her life.
Despite her father’s fury, the lovers are determined to be together, but their plans go tragically awry, and thirty -two years later a young woman comes knocking at Patricia’s door, looking for answers.
This book takes place in the in the past, and a bit in the present too. But we know from the start that something went wrong. Patricia's daughter wants answer. So what happened?
The heroine Patricia is the perfect good girl, trying to to the best she can to make her father proud. Oh her dad, he was an ass, he mourned that his son never would follow in his footsteps. I could not have put up with it like Patricia did, but I understood why. And it is rooted deep within her since childhood.
Then we come to the love story that takes place in the early 60s when Patricia and her father go to Ladakh. To watch the scenery, take in the sights, and just explore.
While watching Patricia we also watched a young man grow up, Kalden, destined to be a monk. And when these two meet sparks fly. First love, so bittersweet. But it was such a different time, and with that prologue in mind I wondered what would happen to these too. For that reason I wish the prologue had not been there.
It's a love story about a young man and a woman from different cultures. A different time, but then love will overcome anything and everything. It was a sweet story and I liked that the setting was so different. But it also made me cry.
Genre: Women's fiction
Published: Sep 7th 2012
Source: For review