‘The Pursuit of Ordinary’ by Nigel Jay Cooper #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

36313350

Waterstones   Amazon

After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets of Brighton, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. But he can’t forget the crash, can’t get the face of the woman cradling her dying husband out of his mind. She stared into his eyes, his soul. He has to find her. Is Dan ill or has he really been possessed by the spirit of Natalie’s dead husband, Joe? If he hasn’t, why does she let him into her home so easily? Does she have secrets of her own? The Pursuit of Ordinary is a twisting tale of modern life and mental health where nothing is what it seems… Following the success of debut novel Beat the Rain, Roundfire introduces the second book from bestselling author Nigel Jay Cooper.

This is such an interesting premise. Natalie appears to be grieving – but there is more her relationship with deceased husband Joe than first meets the eye. And homeless man Dan is a complex and conflicted character – is he ill or actually possessed? At first, the reader really doesn’t know, and this adds depth and interest to the novel.

The storyline around Natalie’s marriage and how she got to the point at which she’d arrived at the opening of the novel has so much potential, as do the issues around Dan’s mental health and the failings that have led him to where he is when the two meet. But I felt that these things were overshadowed by the structure of the novel.

I really didn’t like the way the same events were relayed by different characters. This can really work and can give a different perspective to those events, but here there was far too much repetition. The same scenes were rewritten from different points of view – the same things happening and exactly the same dialogue. This became very tedious and repetitive to read, unfortunately, and spoiled, at least for me, what could have been an excellent book.

3.5

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.

 

3 comments

  1. Ah – I saw a film that did this, recently. The same scenes, from four different POVs. It was basically a good film, but even by half way through the 2nd POV, I was starting to think, okay, can we move on now? I know it’s interesting to see how different characters see things differently, but I think the way to do it is to skirt over that which has already been said (ie ‘we had a long conversation about blah blah, and I could see she thought blah blah’), and show other scenes – this is also more feasible, because some events that are of importance to one person do not have great importance to another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly – I can see why you might want to have an alternative point of view of something that’s happened, but to repeat the whole scene with the same dialogue just didn’t work for me. A shame because the storyline was really good.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s