Downward by Bethan White

A book for the socially astute to digest and reflect on, this is a book that you will probably find best read alone, there are aspects that will leave you bewildered and explaining that gawping look on your face is never an engaging prospect, but it is one that you will want to spar over with friends so it might be good to have your bestie read it at the same time, I know I did- I made her buy it!

The story follows estate agent Chris, now hardly an exciting career choice I know but when things get going I was sure that he was probably thanking his lucky stars that he wasn’t a scientist or surgeon or something along that ilk because when his life starts to implode it does so spectacularly!

There are a number of twists and turns that mean that Chris is facing a torrid time, he is trying to be all things to all people and all the while not really succeeding at being the man he needs to be for himself, I could have throttled him at times, but at others I just had the feeling he needed a hug!

It isn’t easy for anyone to find that happy place, the middle ground between work and life but it has to be there somewhere but when your downtime, the hours where you can close your eyes and shut the world out start to hang heavy over your head too then you know that you are on a slippery slope. Chris was hurling towards that unceremoniously and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

I thought he reacted poorly at times to some situations but then again, I am no expert on how he should have acted given his state of mind. But I think the author played the whole situation very cleverly and wasn’t afraid to shuffle things up a bit but lobbing in the odd curveball every now and again just to make sure you didn’t get too comfortable with the story.

The author packed a lot in what is effectively a fairly short novel and at times it seemed to move a little too fast for the characters but it didn’t take long for the author to actually reign them in again but that being said it takes its toll.

I felt for Chris, I really did, I worried for his sanity and struggled to actually absorb the intensity of what was happening and I do think that is what sets the story apart it makes you think; I mean not just the usually passing fancy of consideration but a proper reflection of “what the heck”

The book is very well written, it is descriptively effective and can certainly be filed in the needs a second read file.


Topic: Downward by Bethan White

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