Suspenseful, poignant (and witty) look at life
My rating: 5 out of 5
Richard’s life is going to change in 3 days time. He is nervous and excited about the impact this will have on him, his wife and his family. What events have lead to this moment? What is going to happen?
Richard lives a fairly ordinary life. He loves his wife but gets irritated by her, he adores his children but needs some peace from their hectic lifestyles, he goes to work each day, endures visits by the in-laws etc. etc. Most days he glances across the road and envies the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere of the lives of the elderly couple opposite; not knowing that the old man is watching back with similar thoughts.
This is the beautifully written story of one week in Richard’s life. There are many very witty observations, together with poignant moments, and insights into other people’s lives, some of which gave me a real jolt. The reader sees Richard’s life through his eyes – how he perceives others, and how he thinks they perceive him. Throughout the week the suspense builds as Richard’s life changing event becomes clearer and grows ever nearer. An excellent and surprising ending.
Each day is broken down into smaller chunks, so that although only one week is covered, there are over 50 chapters. Great for short bursts of reading, with plenty to think about. Although the story, on the face of it, is one week in a fairly average family, the emotions explored are deep, attention-grabbing and involving.
5*s from me. I was very involved in Richard’s character, and how the momentous event at the end of the week would turn out. The themes of family life, perceptions of individuals and dealing with everyday life gave me plenty to think and talk about. The wry glances at family life gave some laugh out loud moments, creating a brilliant balance to this very strong book, with themes that effect everyone.
Book clubs will find this book makes for lively conversation.
See also: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee