Troubador The Unravelling of Michael Gilchrist

Released: 28/09/2018

ISBN: 9781789014693

eISBN: 9781789012170

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Unravelling of Michael Gilchrist

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A novel which takes you on a roller-coaster ride inside the mind of its eponymous hero. 
A story both contemporary (set in the 2010’s) and nostalgic, funny, quirky and sometimes tragic. 
A sensitive hero, beneath his ‘blokey’ exterior, and his attempts to find ‘true’ happiness. 

With just twelve weeks to go before his wedding to ophthalmic surgeon, Jo, thirty year old drug rep, Michael, is panicking. If only he’d found the courage to tell Jo he hadn’t proposed when she believed he had, but Jo’s a determined woman, and besides, the truth would have made her unhappy, and making others unhappy is something Michael has tried to avoid for as long as he can remember. 

 Michael is only too aware that this approach to life hasn’t brought him much happiness, earning him to date not only a wedding he’s dreading, but an unwanted career, ghosts that haunt his past and present, and just lately, recurring nightmares featuring characters from Star Wars (the original trilogy of course). 

 Add to this his future mother-in-law’s farcical wedding preparations, an aunt who’s mad as a box of frogs, a wannabe cowboy for a father, a sister who’s slowly reducing the wildlife population of Australia, the realisation that he doesn’t love his fiancée enough to marry her, and the indefinite detention of the woman he really does love (for stabbing her partner before eating microwaved paella), it’s hardly surprising that Michael is teetering on the brink. 

When his only hope of survival requires making a lot of people (plus one determined ghost) very unhappy, what’s he going to do?

Book launched on Sunday 23rd September at Weston Park, Staffordshire. A great day and sold out of copies!

Promotion evening at Newport Library, Shropshire. Thursday 15th November. 6.30 pm

Some great reviews so far ...

sharonashtonpoetry.com

A very clever book ... full of laugh out loud humor and genuine regard for the ridiculousness of life. Wonderfully written!!

by Francesca Green


I really enjoyed reading this!

The situational dialogue was hilarious and relatable in most parts.
I loved the main character and found his struggles just... real!

The story line works really well with the reminiscing and present. It eaves in and out seamlessly and naturally.

There’s heartbreak and there’s humour. There’s jokes and seriousness.

Everything a good book should have.

But my god, the end? I kept looking to make sure the version I got wasn’t missing a few pages!

All in all, I really truly enjoyed reading this! The plot was good, but the dialogue made it one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had the pleasure of going through in a long time.

Thank you Netgalley for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.

by Theo


I alternately chuckled and wept as read the hero's recalled traumas, problematic events and actions, all building steadily towards his 'unravelling'.
Written with great skill, the narrative has humour and pathos in good measure, and the penultimate revelations both shock and arouse indignation.
An excellent read. Hope there's a sequel.

by Stan Bloxham


The situational dialogue was hilarious and relatable in most parts.
I loved the main character and found his struggles just... real!

The story line works really well with the reminiscing and present. It eaves in and out seamlessly and naturally.

There’s heartbreak and there’s humour. There’s jokes and seriousness.

Everything a good book should have.

But my god, the end? I kept looking to make sure the version I got wasn’t missing a few pages!

All in all, I really truly enjoyed reading this! The plot was good, but the dialogue made it one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had the pleasure of going through in a long time.

by Theodora Wicks


The Unravelling of Michael Gilchrist by S.C.Ashton

Ever since Lucky Jim we’ve been reading about inept blokes whose partial understanding creates mayhem. Michael Gilchrist is a warmer, more sympathetic addition to this line. He follows a trail of misunderstanding created by his failure to face his own fears and the ghosts of his past. S.C. Ashton makes good use of her knowledge of the health service, but has somehow also acquired an intimate understanding of the world of rugby-playing males, and both provide entertaining set-pieces. But Michael’s unravelling is also a serious business, gradually exposing some darker shadows, and there’s an important exploration of the damaging consequences which result from trying to protect other people from the price of honesty. The imminent wedding towards which Michael is helplessly drawn provides a powerful narrative drive, as this intelligent, readable novel sustains its interest and suspense up to the final page.

by Paul Francis


I really enjoyed this book, whizzing through it in 4 days and will soon be reading it again. I particularly like the way that the backstory weaves in and out of the current events. Layers of the story are gradually revealed. Your initial opinions of characters change as you find out more about them. An intriguing book, I am looking forward to reading more of SC Ashton's work.

by Eileen Draper


I bought The Unravelling of Michael Gilchrist after a recommendation – and found a real gem. The book has a subtle, dry and very English humour running through it, conveyed brilliantly within Michael’s thoughts and the punchy dialogue, but like all the best comic writing, the humour in this book is counter-balanced by some far darker themes. Missed emotional connections, mental instability and obsession, inability to show love … Michael’s fear of confrontation and his cowardice has roots in his past. Structured in short chapters that zip around in time but also work progressively towards the final unravelling, Michael’s story is compelling, hilarious and moving in turn, with some very acute observations on the absurdity of modern life. Highly recommended.

by Liz Kershaw


S C Ashton

Sharon Ashton lives in Staffordshire. She studied Classical Studies & Latin at Reading university and graduated in 1978. After training as a health service manager, she studied nursing at St Thomas', London and went on to specialise in practice nursing. In 2005 she began studying part-time for a degree in Creative Writing at Birmingham university. Since graduating with first class honours , she has established herself as a published and performance poet. Her debut novel, 'The Unravelling of Michael Gilchrist' draws on her experiences of working in the NHS.

To read more of her writing visit : http://www.sharonashtonpoetry.com

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