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
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.