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The Roadmap of Loss

Liam Murphy



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03 January 2024
It's 1997 in Melbourne, Australia, and Mark Ward is struggling to make sense of the world following the sudden death of his mother. His father, Dylan, had abandoned him and his mother when Mark was still a child, and Mark has always believed he died in a car accident shortly afterwards. For most of his life, he has carried an unjustifiable sense of guilt about his father's absence, overlaid with memories of him as a cruel and unloving man.

Clearing out his mother's house, a bereft, rapidly deteriorating Mark is shocked to discover a collection of letters written to her by Dylan - some of which postdate his supposed death. Discussing life and love, fears and dreams, set against the backdrop of his bohemian travels across the United States, Dylan's letters become beacons for Mark, who sees in them a final chance to achieve closure, as well as his own redemption. With a burning suspicion that Dylan may still be out there, Mark decides to retrace the journey taken by his estranged father twenty years earlier.

Moving through the country with only a beat-up car as company and the letters of a stranger for guidance, Mark is faced with the enormity and polarity of late nineties America. Bouncing from one city and bizarre situation to the next, he encounters a tapestry of people along the way - many of them eccentric, some malign, some nurturing, others as lost as he is. Alone in a foreign land, the search for peace soon becomes a battle with loneliness, addiction and nihilism as Mark begins to see in himself reflections of the father he grew up resenting.

Raw and uncompromising, The Roadmap of Loss explores human fallibility and vulnerability, the courage of letting go of the past, and the power of forgiveness..

Imprint:   ECHO
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   456g
ISBN:   9781760688295
ISBN 10:   1760688290
Pages:   368
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Liam Murphy is a professional writer, based in Sydney. After graduating from the University of Technology Sydney with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, he went on to work for various News Corp and Nine-Fairfax mastheads. Liam is now working with the NRMA, and his writing features in Open Road magazine. The Roadmap of Loss is his first novel.

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