Leaving Ocean Road is a warm, funny, intelligent novel that starts in South Australia and ends up in Ireland and Greece. For fans of Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, and Monica McInerney, Esther Campion has woven a poignant story about treasuring our memories while celebrating our new beginnings.
Ellen Constantinopolous lives in a small coastal town in South Australia, where she has everything she needs. She has a farm with horses and chickens, close friends in the local town, and a witty daughter named Louise. Woven throughout all of her life is love for her Greek husband Nick, who still makes her smile and laugh the same way he did when they first met, twenty years ago.
But after his sudden and tragic death, Ellen is left reeling. Louise has gone off to university, leaving Ellen alone in her family home. While her best friend Tracey and the other locals do their best to look after her, she is still mired in depression and grief, finding it difficult to pay bills and get up in the morning. She gets by with daily phone calls from Louise, who is herself grieving and missing her father. But then one day, she receives a letter.
It’s from her first love back in Ireland, Gerry Clancy. They’ve been keeping in touch sporadically over the last twenty years through handwritten letters, but he’s decided to come to Australia to visit his son. His arrival in town might just be what Ellen needs to pull her out from her pit of grief, but how can she betray the memory of her dear husband Nick nine months after his death? And when a secret comes out that has been buried for many years, Ellen is faced with a fresh new set of complications that threatens their already fragile family.
Leaving Ocean Road follows one woman’s grief through Australia, Ireland, and Greece. While there are romance plots for both Ellen and Louise, it’s ultimately not about how romantic love can save you, but rather how finding new hope and purpose in family can give you what you need to pull yourself from grief. It’s about resolving your feelings and guilt around moving on.
Ultimately, Leaving Ocean Road is about finding home – whether that be a physical place, in a lover, or in family. Esther Campion has told a heart-warming positive tale about that journey everyone takes to find their own beloved place in the wide wide world.
Esther Campion is from Cork, Ireland and currently lives in north-west Tasmania. She attended North Presentation Convent in Cork and has degrees from University College Cork and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Esther and her Orcadian husband have lived in Ireland, Scotland, Norway and South Australia. They have a grown-up daughter in Adelaide and the two youngest at home in Tassie with an over-indulged chocolate Labrador and two horses, which Esther firmly believes are living proof that dreams really can come true.