Sunday 1 February 2015
SIX MONTHS TO GET A LIFE by Ben Adams
4.2 out of 5 stars
Contemporary drama, family drama, lad lit
On Amazon UK HERE
On Amazon.com HERE
Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber's book review team
This is a very well written, enjoyable, easy-read contemporary drama of the grown up 'lad lit' variety, and I read it all in one go - which is a good recommendation, for a start!
I was a bit worried, before I started it, that it might be too much like a Nick Hornby or David Nicholls, but Ben Adams definitely has his own style. His main character, father of two sons Graham Hope, is a newly divorced 42 year old, pretty despondent about most aspects of his life. Graham gives himself six months, until his 43rd birthday, to make the changes on his to-do list. The story is written in diary form, something I like and think works very well for a novel of this type.
I found Graham frustratingly unsure of himself and meek at first, but he does grow some cojones somewhere in the middle of the six months! It's very 'real life' but in a cosy sort of way, and contains moments both touching and amusing; the humour is generally of the quiet smile provoking rather than the hilarious, though I did laugh out loud at some funny phone-connected bits at 44, 46 and 63% - I always note down when a book actually makes me do that!
Negatives? Hardly any. Not a great deal happens and some threads could have been developed more to good effect, but that's fine; it works. I did find some of the dialogue a little odd; I can't imagine any woman ringing up a man a couple of weeks after a one night stand and saying 'It has been a while since we made love', and I was a bit confused by Graham's concern about what 'having sex with a divorced woman' would be like - it's not the 1950s, when a divorced woman might be seen as a little racy, or indeed anything out of the ordinary! But Graham is not a man of the world, so perhaps that's in character - I was just pleased he got out of the marriage to the draggy ex....
To sum up - I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes light family drama, lad it, stories about real life and realistic relationships, and especially if you're divorced with children; you'll probably relate to much of it. I liked Graham, and his sons; it's the sort of book you close with a smile and that makes you think, yes, I enjoyed that!