Something to Live For, the debut novel from Richard Roper definitely has that ‘special something‘ – quirky, moving and poignant. It is also very uplifting. With echoes of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, this is a compelling portrayal that strikes a chord, tenderly exploring the taboo subject of loneliness.
Something to Live For (published as How Not to Die Alone in the United States) is Andrew’s story. Andrew is 42 – happily married with two children. Yet the problem is that his wife and children aren’t real – Andrew made them up to fit in. He told a white lie during an interview to just feel normal for once, truly believing he wouldn’t get the job. Yet he was offered the role and five years on his work colleagues believe Andrew to have a happy family life living in a beautiful town house.
Yet in reality Andrew is extremely lonely living in a dingy flat with only the music of Ella Fitzgerald and a model trains forum to keep him company.
Andrew’s life is turned upside down when Peggy starts working alongside him and he begins to view her as more than just a colleague; experiencing a connection with Peggy that he has not felt in a very long time.
To add further complications to Andrew’s life, his boss decides that each person in the team should take it in turn to host a dinner party at their home. Yet Andrew’s colleagues, including Peggy thinks he lives in a family home, not a lonely flat with ‘one plate, one knife and fork, and a single saucepan.’
As the novel progresses, more of Andrew’s history is revealed, explaining exactly why Andrew is so frightened to connect with people and truly live. Andrew’s story is so raw and poignant, my heart broke for him. But in my view, he’s also a true hero.
Apparently Richard Roper was inspired to write Something to Live For after reading an article about employees who have to follow up, searching for next of kin etc after people die alone.
Something to Live For is an immersive and intelligent read, confronting in a compassionate way the growing issue of loneliness in today’s society, especially how it can affect anyone of any age. Yet it is also a character driven read that will make you think and also uplift you.
Something to Live For is published on 27th June 2019. To find out what my fellow book bloggers also think of this beautiful, poignant read, please take a look below.
Thank you Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to be part of the blog tour of Something to Live For. A massive thank you also to Richard Roper for writing this beautiful book – this is a book that made me cry (in a good way) and made me really think