Troubador Beyond the Arch

Released: 28/01/2018

ISBN: 9781788039406

Format: Paperback

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Beyond the Arch


A provocative challenge at a dinner party, a serendipitous encounter on a Northumberland cliff top, the accidental death of a friend and the rupture of his marriage converge to disrupt Peter Bowman’s well-ordered middle-class existence as he approaches middle age.

Peter negotiates a sabbatical from his job as a solicitor to pursue his long held ambition to write fiction. He embarks on an odyssey which leads him to new challenges and loves shaped by happiness and tragedy.

When Peter goes to France to stay with Sally, an enigmatic freelance journalist with a troubled past, he takes the first tentative steps towards writing a novel. But can he, as a member of the pre-baby boomer generation, ever fully escape from the constraints imposed by his background and upbringing and embrace the liberal and permissive attitudes of the 1960s and achieve his lifelong ambition? 

Inspired by modern writers including Sebastian Faulks, Kate Atkinson and Julian Barnes, Beyond the Arch is the debut novel from David Evered which explores the changing society and culture of the late 1960s. The book will appeal to readers that enjoy contemporary fiction, as well as those interested in relationships.

Long interview with Sue Kinnear on Radio Berkshire on 24 January.

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David Evered manages to portray a sense of time and place as we look at the sixties through the eyes of conventional, conservative solicitor Peter Bowman.This is skilfully done through the use of, at times, rather stilted dialogue as well as through his interactions with others. It appears when we first meet Peter that the 'swinging sixties' have bypassed him and as we soon approach the seventies, he lacks a sense of fulfilment. It is doubtful whether he would ever have broken off the 'metaphorical chains' if it weren't for events overtaking him; the breakdown of his marriage and the sudden death of his friend. When a chance encounter with Sally leads him to France, we see a different side of Peter and he is certainly more likeable as the book progresses. It is interesting to read a 'rite of passage' novel through the eyes of a man and if you are interested in the sixties or in France then this book will appeal.

by Goodreads Review

One thing is certain about this book; it's a true life depiction of what most people hail as success. The career consistency and being literate are some of the strong themes that I resonated with while reading this book.
Peter's been married to Ann. They each have thriving careers and he's a Solicitor who's always yearned to write, but the fear of being thought of as foolish by his colleagues and family had him shy away from it. Events unfold in the story and suddenly he finds himself doing things as his wife would call "foolish" or "on a whim" and you cannot help but spiral with him as a reader.
I struggled with the pace, mostly because the air that the characters give in the story as being well educated and posh.
What doesn't help the pace are the words too, for example "The inconsequential discussion flowed back and forth haphazardly as he attempted unsuccessfully..." and the sentence has more words before getting to the full stop.
This book requires utmost reader patience and it's one you can take your time to enjoy because we all have asked ourselves if the path we've taken in life is the right one.
Thank you for the eARC NetGalley. Fans of literary fiction could find themselves discussing this in a serious book club meeting!

by Goodreads Review

This was a provocative read exploring many of the streams in life which make us tick. So many people are moulded and restrained by their surroundings and their upbringing. Here we experience Peter Bowman as he attempts to break free from society's shackles and leave it all behind in order to fulfil a life long dream of writing a novel. While desire and will are compulsory is it possible to ever be capable of leaving it all behind.
This was an interesting, thought provoking read which held my interest and posed many questions for me.

by NetGalley review

David Evered

David Evered’s professional career was in academic medicine and research. He has been a consultant physician in Newcastle Upon Tyne, the Deputy Head of the UK Medical Research Council, a Special Adviser to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO – Lyon) and a Trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support. He has lived in Newcastle, London and France and is now retired. He and his wife live in rural West Berkshire. This is his first work of fiction.

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