Contemporary Fiction Humour

The Car Share – Zoe Brisby

31 March 2021
The Car Share Book Cover The Car Share
Zoe Brisby
Hachette UK
25 March 2021

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...

Alex advertises for a car share from Paris to Brussels and Maxine is to be his companion. He’s young, very depressed, she’s 90 something but young in her head. He’s going to Brussels to find a friend from a while ago and she’s going to end things before Alzheimer’s renders all lost. So fasten your seatbelts folks as this is like no other journey, possibly ever!

I absolutely love this book – what a mad caper as the pair cause utter mayhem which leads to a huge amount of laughter. I don’t think I have ever laughed as much during the course of a book as I have with this one, it’s joyful genius. The intrepid pair are polar opposites. Maxine is adorable, she’s incredibly creative, her wit is razor sharp and she sure thinks very calmly on her feet. She’s like no other 90, 80, 70, 60 year old …. whatever age she feels in her head, I mean she knows who David Guetta is!!!! Alex starts out so depressed, he looks shocking, in fact Maxine thinks he looks like a ‘druggie’. Their dialogue is witty, clever, and hilarious. Alex feels old in Paris whereas Maxine feels young, he sees the world in black and white while she sees it in Ultra HD despite the sadness and tragedy in her life. She’s wise and knowledgeable although she could be making stuff up, it’s entirely possible!! I love her malapropisms and somehow her expressions fit better such as Fascist- Sisters (Fashionistas. See? Way better). The car becomes a kind of confessional for both of them as she brings him back to life and he learns joy and zest for life through their mad escapades. How big is Maxine’s handbag? It must be humongous with all the amazing objects she produces for it. Especially useful is the rotating beacon which they put to excellent use in a traffic jam.

Overall, just read it! It’s fantastic and life affirming, it’s funny, a little bit sad and emotional in places but some tears are happy tears especially at the end. Maxine is a gift not just to Alex but also to us though he gives her the greatest gift of all. I love it – can you tell??!!

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Hodder and Stoughton for the much-appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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