Wednesday, 28 April 2021

The Car Share - Zoe Brisby

About the book… 

A ninety-year-old woman with Alzheimer's and a heartbroken young man end up sharing a ride to Brussels that changes their lives forever.

When Alex pulls up to meet "Max", he expects everything but a ninety-year-old lady who has her heart set on getting to Brussels by carpool.

As for 'Max', who is actually called Maxine, she could not be more ill at ease when settling into the seat next to this young man with bloodshot eyes. God help her if he turned out to be a drug addict who hasn't slept in days!

When it becomes clear that Maxine is suffering from Alzheimer's and wants to take matters in her own hands while she still can, and that Alex battles severe depression, a wonderful friendship starts to form between the unlikely pair. Before long, their travel plans take an unexpected turn...

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About the author… 

Zoe Brisby won the Mazarine Book Day literary contest with her novel 'The Car Share'. She worked as an art historian before dedicating herself to writing.

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My thoughts…

The Car Share follows the journey of Maxine and Alex, both of whom are headed to Brussels and find themselves as unlikely travelling companions. They are two strangers, two very unlikely travelling companions both with a purpose, both choosing to carpool but for very different reasons. One wanting to end it all whilst they still could make the decision for themselves and one running from the embarrassment of unrequited love. From the get go I loved their interactions, blunt talking and gentle humour. Max aka Maxine, a 90 year old lady with the vigour of a 20 year old continually gives her driver and travelling companion Alex the what for - he really does wonder what he’s let himself in for. I found myself sitting smiling as I read, my grin getting bigger and bigger. I could tell this book was going to be full of fun and I came to expect the unexpected - it was perfect reading for the sunny Easter Sunday afternoon where i had curled up on the sofa with my kindle.

The Car Share turned out to be an absolute tonic of a book, there are serious undertones but the humour is infectious, I choked laughing on more occasions than i could count. Alex and Max - aka Thelma and Louise as i dubbed them were hilarious - I don’t know who I loved more. Their verbal interactions and inner conversations were a joy to read.

The ripple effect of Alex and Max’s journey together is felt far and wide. With stereotypical descriptions of “themselves, character and situation” bandied about and distorted out of context and reality. I loved the direct observations - delivered frankly and without thought, the laugh out loud turns of phrase and out there characteristics of a person who has settled into, and is comfortable in their self. A totally uplifting, fun, at times hysterical, and at others somber read.

I’m glad I suspended belief and went going along for the ride, feeling part of the numerous, hilarious encounters, the heartfelt memories shared and the sad reality of why they were each taking the journey. And boy it was one hell of a ride, bumpy, filled with nostalgia and the unexpected. Alex and Max proved to be Yin and Yang to each other, bonding without realising and as a reader I came to expect the unexpected from them, particularly from Max.

Their closeness and exhilaration inspired by the journey was infectious, the simplicity of experiences shared bonding them and me together, sitting on the periphery of their life was heart warming - it really was such a wonderful book to read that totally hit the spot - feel good, uplifting and just simply delightful

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