With the madness surrounding the London Book Fair, I did not check if my scheduled posts had been sent. Guess what? They did not! This is why you are getting this extract one day later than planned! I apologize, it seems to be happening too much recently! Time for me to stop trusting WP and go back to my old ways!
Anyway, today is discovery day with an extract of Drift Stumble Fall from M. Jonathan Lee! My review will be up same day next month!
Title: Drift Stumble Fall
Author: M. Jonathan Lee
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
Date of publication: April 2018
This darkly humorous novel is an insightful commentary on the
fragility of family life, and a modern fascination with
the grass always being greener on the other side.
The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.
Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.
Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.
The CD player spins, the music just loud enough to drown out any noise from the rest of the house. I wait for the current song to finish and take advantage of the gap between the songs to listen intently for Lisa, the children. All seems to be quiet.
I close my eyes and listen to the next song begin. Bruce Springsteen is certainly selling me Nebraska as a holiday destination. For a moment, I am relaxed.
I hate baths.
Saying that, though, I usually bathe eight or nine times a week.
It is purely a form of escape. It is the only way that I can remove myself from the rest of my life without being questioned in any way. Plus, the bathroom is the only place in the house that it is reasonable to lock yourself in. We don’t have this benefit in any other place in the house. I have often thought that it would be great to have locks on all doors, and if you didn’t want to be disturbed, you could simply click the lock. I once mentioned it to Lisa but she seemed less than impressed.
I used to go out for a drive to escape. I’d usually have an excuse prepared for why I had to go to the shop at that exact moment. Cigarettes was the best excuse, because as an addiction Lisa couldn’t deny me needing to go, like, right now. Often, I didn’t need any cigarettes; I had packets and packets of them in my glove compartment. It was just a way of getting out. Just for a bit.
That worked pretty well until Lisa fell pregnant with Hannah and she told me directly that I was not going to hold my child unless I stopped smoking. She didn’t even want the smell of smoke transferring from my clothes to our child. So I stopped, and my means of escape disappeared, only to be replaced by a never-ending urge to smoke again.
I spent a few years persuading myself that as a new father I shouldn’t need to escape. Who would wish to escape having everything they ever wanted? Not me. No, I wanted to witness everything. First proper laugh, first word (‘pliish’), first steps. And so I did. But always with one eye on the door.
Nothing seemed to be as magical as everyone else made it out to be. I wasn’t sure whether it was something to do with my daughter. Maybe she wasn’t as good as other people’s children. Maybe her first steps weren’t as good as those of the other children at nursery. Their parents cooed and waxed lyrical about every move their kids made. I didn’t quite get it. Lisa, though, did the same. I watched as she shared stories of Hannah’s achievements. And I realised then that Hannah wasn’t faulty. It was me.
I tried my best to enjoy my surroundings, and to be fair, it wasn’t all bad.
Lips are sealed on my opinion until May 24th!
You can find the book on Amazon!
Does this extract make you curious? The author has a unique way of presenting life… Oops, can’t say more! #Teasing