After receiving an eARC of this book from NetGalley, I also won a physical ARC of this book from the publishers, Orion, so thank you to them for this opportunity.
Sometimes you have 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.
I want to start my review off by saying that I was extremely intrigued by the premise of this story and where the idea for it came from.
Andrew works for the council, in the department that the coroner would phone if a body came in with no obvious immediate family. Andrew would then go to the deceased’s home (where they made have been dead for a while) and will look through their personal items in the hope that there may be some indication of family or close friends (Christmas cards, birthday cards, letters, etc.), for a will and/or money (under the mattress, in pans, etc.) in order to pay for a funeral.
In some cases, the deceased will not have any of these things and therefore the council pays for a funeral (up to £1000 – the average funeral costing around £4000) in which there is an unmarked grave and no body turns up to say goodbye to this person. Andrew makes a conscious effort to turn up to these funerals to make sure that despite dying alone, this person isn’t then buried with no one to say goodbye.
I think this side of Andrew is such a lovely side to him and I was constantly saying to myself “bless his heart, that’s such a beautiful thing to do”. However, I also found myself a little frustrated with Andrew.
He has ended up in this huge lie with his work friend about having the perfect wife and 2 kids at home. I don’t want to spoil how this lie came about and why but I did get frustrated with him, until I understood fully what was going on.
There were several twists I didn’t see coming in this, although some other may do. However, they were good twists that were vital to the story and really helped bring everything together in the end.
I think my favourite character through the whole story was Peggy, I really related to her as a person and I think she brought some well needed and fantastically received comedy to what could have been quite a depressing story (which is obviously the point in her presence).
I loved Richard Roper’s writing style and I will absolutely keep my eyes open for his future work.
I gave this book 5/5 stars. Couldn’t fault it.