Originally published: 12 April 2018
Author: M Jonathan Lee
Set in: UK
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page count: 310
Reading dates: 2-5 March 2018
Thank you Hideaway Fall and M Jonathan Lee for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Richard is a typical middle aged married man, with a job, house, wife and 2 kids. But he wants to escape – he hates his life and craves to live in solitude and be able to live his life without responsibilities to anyone else.
Across the road live Bill & Rosie, an elderly couple. Richard envies their easy existence and seeing Bill often standing at the window looking out, wishes he had their lives.
Told mostly from the viewpoint of Richard, this is almost a diary of a week or so in his life, a time when he is snowed in with his family (including in-laws) and when he decides he is actually going to disappear from their lives. Despite describing the day to day events of life in quite a lot of detail (bath time, meal times, even time spent in bed), the author manages to make it compelling and I easily read it in just 2 days. We also learn of the heartbreak of Bill and Rosie, who have lost both their daughters (one to illness, the other who just walked out one day and didn’t return).
It’s a hard book to review – I must admit to similar feelings of craving time alone from the busy life of work and home so I get where he is coming from (but thankfully have never felt the urge just to pack it all in).
M Jonathan Lee has himself suffered from anxiety and depression and he draws on these experiences in this book. Unfortunately, it left me feeling a bit depressed. But I did enjoy the writing and would definitely be interested to see what else this author writes/has written. (less)
It sounds like an intense read. I think we’ve all encountered this need for solitude sometimes but the grass is always greener!
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