In this novel, Heather Delaney is an Australian parliamentarian who may have been the subject of an assassination attempt. Ellis, Heather’s ex-boyfriend, is re-inventing himself as a life coach and has wandered back into Heather’s life. Performed in the pleasing, solid voice of Heather Bolton, Trip of a Lifetime is a literary soap opera, weaving its way between connected characters in various stages of relational difficulty, including Jill, who must balance a faltering marriage and the demands of motherhood. It is no wonder that author Liz Byrski has contributed to Cosmopolitan.
And Heather is not the only one who is rocked by the attack. Her brother, Adam, and his second wife, Jill, already juggling the demands of work and pre-teen children find their marriage is straining at the seams. Adam disappears into his music while Jill attempts to keep all the balls in the air. Shaun, Heather's offsider, young, loyal and ambitious, questions his relationship: Diane, an office volunteer, can't stop the bitterness pouring out after a mid-life divorce; and Heather's aunt, Barbara, is about to have her peaceful rural retirement disrupted by conflicting loyalties.
Then along comes Heather's old flame, Ellis. Romantic, flamboyant, determined to recapture the past and take control of the future, he seems to have all the answers. But can it really be that easy?
Liz Byrski is one of my favourite Australian authors - the issues she addresses are real, and the characters are very recognisable in reality. The narration was occasionally marred by characters voices being missed, and I think Ballina was sadly mispronounced, but otherwise a very enjoyable listen.