Sometimes you need 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.
Trigger warnings – Death and Suicide
Richard Roper lives in London. This is his first novel, inspired by a newspaper article about the council workers who deal with situations when someone dies alone.
What I Thought
Excuse me whilst I just wipe away a tear or two and compose myself.
This is a story of loneliness, and hope too, with a strong cast of characters. I can totally see why the TV rights have sold.
Our protagonist Andrew is in his early forties and lives alone surrounded by model trains. He works for the local council inspecting the properties of people that have died alone to try and find their next of kin and enough money to pay for their funeral. He writes their obituaries and, although not part of the job, he attends their funerals, usually just with the vicar. Throughout there is a hint that he might be in danger of the same happening to him one day.
The massive lie he has kept going is both a source of comfort and anxiety to him and throughout the story there is a gradual mystery that unfolds.
I got completely swept away by Andrew’s life and laughed and cried along with this charming novel. In reality he’d probably be the source of ridicule but that’s what I love about stories, they allow you to step into someone’s skin and see beyond the surface. This book reminds us to take the time to listen to people’s stories and rely less on snap judgements.
I love how that each person him and his work partner Peggy find is given a name, a story and due care and consideration. There is one person’s tale that Peggy and Andrew get caught up in and there was one line in reference to this that bought a lump to my throat.
Of course things happen that mean Andrew’s world is about to be shaken but if that helps him “Find His Something” surely things can settle again? Can’t they?
Family, Friendship, Love and Humanity is all explored with humour and pathos by debut author Richard Roper and as well as a tear or three this book should also leave you with a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart.
Just one negative. I’m not sure I’ll be able to forgive the missed opportunity to make a subtle Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express reference!!! 😉
Thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Orion for the gifted copy for the purposes of honest review.
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