Blog Tour Stop! Something to Live For by Richard Roper
Thank you Compulsive Readers for inviting me to join this particular blog tour - this has truly been a pleasure of a read, and I haven’t been able to stop raving about this book since I set it down for the final time.
I’ve seen people compare the main character of this book, Andrew, to Eleanor Oliphant and I could not agree more. This is a story that is quirky, witty, likeable, thoughtful, gentle and provoking. Truly a book that pulls at the heartstrings while still allowing you to giggle out loud at the pitch-perfect dead pan British humor. If I could package up a very ideal summer read, it would look exactly like this book.
Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something...
Andrew works with death for a living. Searching for people's next of kin and attending the funerals if they don't have anyone, he's desperate to avoid the same fate for himself. Which is fine, because 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 the little white lie he once told 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.
Genuinely - this book is unlike most anything else I’ve read this year, and that alone marks it high in books I am going to devour and enjoy page after page. But it is the story, the absolute heart of the story, that will capture you and hold your attention tightly from the first to last page.
For me, it was Andrew as a character; flawed, broken, flailing and perfectly human, as he tries to navigate the professional world he faces day after day and the reflection of how closely that world mirrors his own. Taking the perspective of a character who attends the deaths and funerals of people who are utterly alone in this world is a fascinating place to start a story. This was just a wonderfully unique and empathetic job that I fell a little in love with - that and Andrew’s desire to ensure these people were given the dignity and respect of his attention in their passings. Despite Andrew’s many flaws and missteps, I was truly rooting for him from start to finish - I wanted him to find his place in the world of the living, and to land with a happy ending.
I think there is something really wonderful in bringing darker topics to as main plot points in stories - there is beauty in life and death and grief and human connection, and it isn’t until we examine the dark that we can appreciate the light fully. Richard does such wonderful work in bringing this idea to life, and sharing the light that seeps in around the darkest of topics - living a life that ends alone.
I, of course, will spoil nothing for you readers, but to say that this is absolutely a book for every summer TBR - a book that so joyously celebrates life by investigating death. A book that celebrates love and connection in understanding loneliness. A book that will break your heart wide open. Do yourselves a favor and be sure to collect your own copy to wile away a beautiful summer afternoon, you will not be regretting that decision, I can promise you that.
Have a wonderful week friends, and may you take time this week to celebrate all the good in your lives. xx
With the warmth of David Nicholls and the charm and humour of Nick Hornby, this brilliant debut explores one man’s attempts to let go of the past and start his life afresh.
‘Tender, funny, compelling - this wonderful book deserves to be huge!’ Lucy Foley, author of THE HUNTING PARTY
‘Funny, moving and thought-provoking - I loved this.’ - Clare Mackintosh
'A charming, humorous and life-affirming tale about human kindness that strikes a chord in a world where loneliness is a growing problem' BBC News Online, Top Fiction of 2019
‘I completely fell under its spell. It pulls you in, makes you laugh and breaks your heart - in short, does everything that you want a novel to do. While it is very much in the David Nicholls' tradition of sympathetic quirk and comedy, it is, at the same time, so fresh and different. I loved the voice, the people, the world..... Who couldn't? What an extraordinary debut.’ - Gill Hornby
‘Heart-breaking. Hilarious. Life-affirming. Some descriptions of loneliness took my breath away. This book deserves to be HUGE!’ Holly Bourne
‘Funny, moving and uplifting…I loved it.’ Libby Page, author of THE LIDO