Friday, 17 September 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: The Banksia House Breakout by James Roxburgh

The Banksia House Breakout
James Roxburgh
Some adventures are worth waiting for
Publisher: Ventura Press
Publication date: 15th September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 315
RRP: $32.99AUD
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via DMCPRMedia
About the book
When Ruth Morris is moved into Banksia House by her workaholic son Michael, she is eighty-one years young, mourning her loss of independence, and missing her best friend Gladys terribly.

So when she learns Gladys is dying a state over in Brisbane, Ruth is determined to say goodbye. Enlisting the help of her fellow residents, Ruth makes a daring departure from Banksia House alongside renowned escape-artist Keith, and her formidable new friend Beryl.

The journey from Sydney is far from straightforward, featuring grimy hotels, hitchhiking, and a mild case of grand theft. This unlikely trio finds themselves on the trip of a lifetime, where new connections blossom amidst the chaos. But the clock is ticking and Gladys awaits – will they make it across the border in time?
My review
The Banksia House Breakout is a refreshing debut about ageing, friendship and independence.  
Ruth's son Michael has taken over her life assuming she is unable to care for herself after a fall. He sells the family home and drops Ruth at Banksia House, the nursing home he has chosen for her. Michael is much too busy to be worrying about his mother and at 81 she couldn't possibly be lucid enough to care for herself.
The story starts out quite ominous with Ruth's ill treatment by her son and a villainous careworker who makes life miserable for all the residents However once we get to meet some of the other residents, escape artist Keith and tech savvy Joan, the feeling of the story lightens.
Ruth is rather timid and she lets her son dominate her but she is making new friends in Banksia House and these  women may be elderly but they haven't lost their sense of adventure.
When Michael tells Ruth he is much too busy to take her to Brisbane to visit her dying firend Gladys the women hatch a plan to steal a car and get Ruth there to see Gladys one last time. They would only be gone a few days, no one would notice.
So begins an hilarious road trip which involves plenty of hiccups and detours, an encounter with a bikie gang, backpackers, working odd jobs at a hostel and managing to evade police at the last minute.
James Roxburgh smashes stereotypes in this debut novel as Ruth, Beryl and Keith prove during their trip that they are anything but senile. They manage to work their way through many sticky situations whilst also handing out sage advise learnt through years of experience. 
I loved the mentions of all the stops along the coast on the way from Sydney to Brisbane. Many of the places they visited brought back memories of family holidays.
I also enjoyed Ruth's transformation. The more she did the more confident she became in her own abilities. 
The Banksia House Breakout is a fun, heart-warming read. I found myself cheering for Ruth along the way and I couldn't read fast enough to find out if Ruth would make it to see Gladys on time.
If you enjoyed Joanna Nell's Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village you will love The Banksia House Breakout!
My rating 5 / 5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

About the author
James Roxburgh is an audiologist who specialises in the care of the elderly with hearing loss. He combines his passion for writing and the experiences he has shared with his patients to create heart-warming and captivating characters who defy the norms of ageing. James has worked as a ski instructor, owned a number of small businesses and lives in Sydney with his wife and two daughters. The Banksia House Breakout is his first novel. 
Retweet this tweet on Twitter:
James has kindly offered a giveaway of one signed paperback copy of The Banksia House Breakout.
Enter via the form below. Entries close at midnight on  28th September 2021.  
This giveaway has now closed and the winner was announced here. 


  1. This looks like a great read - fingers crossed.

  2. Yes please. Would love to win this one. 😁

  3. I have heard so much about this book, it is on my must get list :)

    A fabulous giveaway

    Have Fun


  4. I have this in my ‘I want to read this one’ pile, already 😁 I’m going through the moving elderly parents out of home stage at present, so is very relevant.

  5. This looks a really good book and o would love to win this one!

  6. I have heard do much about this book!!

    1. Good luck Marg. It is getting a lot of well deserved publicity.

  7. This sounds fabulous, would love the opportunity to read.

  8. I follow James on Instagram and have been seeing this beautiful book popping up a bit on social media

  9. I love new book so look forward to reading this one!

  10. I love the cover. It looks fresh and fun.

  11. I love the sound of this one Veronica. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win :)

  12. This sounds fabulous and I love the cover, thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

  13. This sounds good, thanks for sharing & the chance to win!

  14. All I can say is wow! I love this and will read it whether I win or not.

  15. Having worked in aged care and laughed and cried along with residents at their stories, I can't wait to read this novel. Just my 'cup of tea'.

  16. I really really would like this book

  17. Replies
    1. Highly recommended for a fun read. There is never a dull moment with these characters.

  18. I look forward to reading this book. I work in Aged Care and am Deaf.I see the author is an Audiologist.

    1. Good luck Jo. If you work in aged care you will relate to a lot in this novel.

  19. This sounds like such a fun read.

  20. This looks like a great novel, it would be great to read a story about aged care that makes me smile.

  21. I loved this one too! The perfect lockdown read, especially as it comes up to the anniversary of my grandmother's passing (she would've given Ruth and Beryl a run for their money!)

    1. I think some of James' readers could give him a lot of content for a sequel. I know my father got up to a few antics in his nursing home.