Back Roads by Tawnie O’Dell Review

The 6th book on my list of Oprah’s Book Club is Back Roads!  I have loved doing these reviews so far, and I hope you guys are getting some good recommendations from them! I would love to know what you guys thought about the books too! Leave a comment after the review so I can see!

This is a review for Back Roads by Tawnie O’Dell.

Book review on back roads by Tawnie O'Dell

Back Roads

Not for the feint of heart.

Nineteen-year-old Harley is left to rear his three younger sisters after their mother is imprisoned for murdering their abusive father in this hard look at a troubled family. I re-iterate. Not for the feint of heart. There is a lot of family trouble and drama. Certainly enough to have made me take an extra week to read because I had to keep putting it down. If you are looking for a happy story, don’t come here.

Resentful because his best friend is off at college, Harley works at a fictional version of Rite Aid and as an appliance-shop delivery person. He consistently comes home to meals that are less than desirable. Harley is bitter about having to now raise kids that he didn’t choose to have–and he can’t shake the feeling that she prefers prison to their home life; a mystery lingers around his father’s death.


Troubled gold.

O’Dell’s tale touches on all the tropes of dysfunctional families, but her characters fight free of stereotypes, taking on an angry, authentic glow. It may be difficult to read but it is so rich and deep. You may need to set up a Que on your Netflix with comedies and cartoons, but it is thoroughly worth it.

If you enjoy this book, you will love the TV show Shameless (and vice versa)


I can’t wait to watch something happy right now. But, I definitely do not regret reading this. Well done!