I often find that the books that I remember the most are not those that come from my ‘favourite’ genres of crime and psychological thrillers, but from other genres. I’m not sure where you shelve uplifting and life-affirming reads but Something to Live For is first and foremost in the category for 2019.
Andrew works for the council where one of his duties is to trace the relatives of those who have died with no known family. Anyone who has worked in an office will recognise some elements of Andrew’s work, especially the absurdity of his manager Cameron. Cameron was both arguably the cause of the misunderstanding around the existence of Andrew’s family and his panic over the exposure of the actual non-existence of the carefully crafted wife and two children. So far so amusing around a man who is so sad he has invented a make-believe family, but intriguingly this is a springboard to a story far broader, and deeper than the one you might be expecting.
One day a new employee arrives, Peggy Green and rolls up her sleeves, literally, to help Andrew search through the debris of some poor deceased man’s home to find links to family. Having warded off some chancer on the doorstep, and searched meticulously it appears that the man will have a ‘pauper’s funeral’ i.e. one only attended by the vicar and Andrew who does so out of the wish that someone witnessed the event. Peggy however is the catalyst for Andrew to look at the realities of his life. Meanwhile Cameron is pushing ahead with his plans to get the team to bond via a Come Dine with Me series of evenings – obviously Andrew with his make-believe life is going to run into problems but let’s face it many of us shudder at the mere thought of being forced to bond with our colleagues, especially in our own time!
This is a book that starts off as being mildly entertaining and then slowly creeps up on you and steals your heart. Partly that’s because it truly does take you through the range of emotions, and perhaps these feel a bit more authentic because they are from a man’s point of view which arguably isn’t as overworked as the female perspective in this type of book. Another plus is Andrew is just an average man; he has no disability physical or mental, his love of model trains is not dressed up as something anything other than it is and I for one found that incredibly refreshing. This could be a classified as a book about loneliness, and it is one of those books that makes you reflect and consider how easily that someone can come adrift from society but it is also about the essential goodness of people, something I think has been delivered in a timely manner when all around us seems to be endless news about the harm people do to each other.
I was extremely grateful to receive an advance copy of Something to Live For from the publishers Orion Publishing Group ahead of publication date of today! This unbiased review is my thanks to them, and the author Richard Roper for an entertaining yet thoughtful story which reflects a part of life that we prefer not to see!
First Published UK: 27 June 2019
No. of Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Fiction Amazon UK Amazon US
WWW Wednesday is run by Taking on a World of Words.
The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
Well I’m writing to you from an uncomfortable place having ‘done my back in’ which really means I did something very painful in the act of getting dressed which has meant copious amounts of strong drugs so please forgive any errors in my posts, it’s safe to say I’m not totally with it! That said in my more lucid moments which tend to be in the early hours of the morning I have managed to do some reading…
I am currently reading a psychological thriller from my 20 Books of Summer list for 2019The Other Mrs Miller by Allison Dickson. The Other Mrs Miller is due to be published by Little, Brown Book Group UK on 16 July 2019.
Two women are watching each other.
Phoebe isn’t sure when the car started showing up. At first she put it down to the scandal around her late father, but she’s certain now it’s there for her. What’s interesting about an unhappily married housewife, who barely leaves her house? Only one knows why.
Every morning, not long before your husband leaves for work, I wait for the blinds beside your front door to twitch. You might think I’m sitting out here waiting to break into your house and add a piece of your life to my collection. Things aren’t quite that simple. It’s not a piece of your life I want.
When a new family move in across the street, it provides Phoebe with a distraction. But with her head turned she’s no longer focused on the woman in the car. And Phoebe really should be, because she’s just waiting for an opportunity to upend Phoebe’s life… Amazon
The book I finished was ‘an uplifting debut’ Something to Live For by Richard Roper which was chosen in part to keep me going through the pain!
Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…
All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.
The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and his little white lie is about to catch up with him.
Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start. Amazon
Next I plan on reading Those People by Louise Candlish which will be published tomorrow by Simon and Schuster.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS YOU’LL LOVE TO HATE
Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don’t follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.
Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone’s story is the same: They did it.
But there’s a problem. The police don’t agree. And the door they’re knocking on next is yours. Amazon
Fortunately given that I have a whole stack of books to be read I have a great selection to see me through.. what are you reading this week?