‘Something To Live For’ by Richard Roper
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary Women
Published: June 2019, Orion
Swathi’s Rating: 4.5/5
Verdict: A book that’s found a place so close to my heart and I’ll be holding on to it for a long time!
Only a few books possess the magic of entering the reader’s life and staying there for a very long time. It’s sometimes not just a story we read, but the words and phrases of the author that impacts the reader so much that the words actually reverberate in the eyes and ears at such particular moments of life. This book is one such for me that I read, and cherished and will probably re-read infinite times afterward!
‘Something to Live For’ is called ‘How Not To Die Alone’ in the US and has an attractive orange cover! Although I love the UK cover of the book which I think is so apt with cute railway tracks running around!! So, if you happen to spot any of these titles in your next bookshop visit, grab them ASAP!! As usual read the blurb and then my thoughts on the book. Hope you love the book as much as I do. Enjoy!! 🙂Amazon
Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…
Andrew’s been feeling stuck.
For years he’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe.
Then he meets Peggy.
A misunderstanding has left Andrew trapped in his own white lie and his lonely apartment. When new employee Peggy breezes into the office like a breath of fresh air, she makes Andrew feel truly alive for the first time in decades.
Could there be more to life than this?
But telling Peggy the truth could mean losing everything. For twenty years, Andrew has worked to keep his heart safe, forgetting one important thing: how to live. Maybe it’s time for him to start.
‘Something To Live For’ is the story of Andrew, 42 who works for the Ministry of Death. His job involves finding next of kin for those who die alone and do the funeral arrangements with whatever money he could find in their houses. Andrew attends their funerals even though it’s not his job to do so, as he feels people deserve some company when they say their final goodbye to the world.
So who is Andrew personally? He is a bit of a loner who doesn’t like taking a risk in life. He likes to live with what he has and does not do well with changes. He lives alone in his old unkempt apartment everyday after work to meet his model trains which he has spent so much money and time to build in his idle time. He is also a member of a online forum where like-minded model train enthusiasts chat with anonymous names! Andrew feels comfortable being anonymous and finds himself loosening up with the group on the forum.
At work, his enthusiastic Boss Cameron and co-workers believe Andrew to be a happy father of two, and the husband to a successful lawyer Diane. Now, why would they think so? You might ask. Well, it was one bad day when Cameron interviewed Andrew for the job and a teeny tiny slip up lead to a massive lie. Who knew Andrew had to make up a master Excel sheet to design his entire family, likes dislikes and general everyday family questions including their characters??!!
While Andrew continues to live his life tangled in lie, enters Peggy the new office Intern whom Andrew has to train for the job. He takes her to the house raids and funerals and finds himself connect so easily and almost immediately. The closer they get, Andrew’s fear for what will happen when Peggy finds the truth about his life? Will the truth let him free from the burden he’s carrying around or will it destroy his remaining life?
I fell so much in love with Andrew and Peggy equally but I like the former more. He is vulnerable soft spoken character and many things that happen to him in his work and life are so funny and relatable! Peggy is a fresh fragrance and a mother of two. Her alcoholic husband is a pain in the ass and adds more drama to the story.
There are only a handful of books I have read with male centric plots in it. While most of them show the sexual and funny side of men, I loved Richard Roper’s honest and humble portrayal of your everyday men and the choices they’ve to make in life. I loved the way he connected Andrew’s job that involved sad moments of people dying alone with his own life where he lives alone and fears meeting the same fate one day.
I loved, loved, loved the words of the author and am so glad I had the chance to read this incredible feel-good book. This is the kind of refreshing book I was looking for and my sincere thanks to the publisher and Tracy Fenton for bringing the book to me in the most appropriate phase of my life.
Do follow these amazing bloggers on the blog tour. They’ve some very interesting things to say about the book too!!
Richard Roper is a non-fiction editor at Headline, where he works with authors such as James Acaster, Joel Dommett, Andrew O’Neill, and Frank Turner. How Not to Die Alone is inspired by an article he read about people whose job it is to follow up after people die alone. It is his debut novel.
He tweets @richardroper