The rules are simple: choose the most significant moments from your relationship – one for each hour in the day.
You’d probably pick when you first met, right?
And the instant you knew for sure it was love?
Maybe even the time you watched the sunrise after your first night together?
But what about the car journey on the holiday where everything started to go wrong? Or your first proper fight?
Or that time you lied about where you’d been?
It’s a once in a lifetime chance to learn the truth.
But if you had to be completely honest with the one you love, would you still play?
For Esme and Tom, the game is about to begin. But once they start, there’s no going back . . .
Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery Review
Heartbreaking, Raw and Real
I have always been a great believer in the idea that the universe gives us things and people when we need them the most. Situations are drawn towards us when we need to learn lessons and friends are brought into our lives when we most need a particular personality to help us through tough times. I also believe there are certain books that are put into your lap for a reason. Certain authors, you are drawn towards to help teach you a lesson or learn from their stories.
This book is a perfect example of that for me.
I was invited on this blog tour a fair time ago. The book sat on my Kindle for quite some time. Other books were read first, their blurb more inticing maybe, their cover more appealing. Thrillers were my chosen genre for quite some time, I needed books that would take me away from my own world. Escapism.
This is a book I put off reading until almost the last moment. Not because the cover didn’t appeal (I actually think it is really quite beautiful) and not because the blurb didn’t excite me, but because I expected it to be a predictable love story. This is the perfect example of why you should never ever judge a book by its cover, or blurb!
I was expecting a cute, loving and happy romance novel, especially as I knew this was a debut. What I experienced was a raw and emotional magnifying glass held against a truly real relationship – and one that I could almost certainly relate to.
This accomplished piece of writing plays with structure and emotion and is not written in a linear fashion. For those who want to just dip in and out of a book, this may not suit you. The structure means you move back and forward in time and instead of being linear, it jumps between emotions and memories – and just like real life, we don’t recount our memories in a biographical way – some memories are harder to admit, harder to face. Sometimes life itself is hard to face. Using the ‘game’ allowed Fewery to really explore the characters fears and failures. It’s a technique I think brought a unique dimension to a book that could have been boring, and instead is fascinating.
Jamie Fewery has created characters that are incredibly relatable and honest. The dialogue is so effortless and makes you feel like you are sitting in the same room watching their life unfold. Their relationship is far from perfect, Esme is bossy and can sometimes read as a little controlling (can’t we all be?) and Tom feels so incredibly vulnerable. As the novel develops we learn why.
The way Fewery highlights mental health issues is what struck me the most. Suffering from anxiety myself, I can honestly say I felt my heart pounding harder during certain chapters. The descriptions of anxiety and depression are so acutely real that for the first time in a long time I feel like I have read a true, honest and raw depiction of what true mental health looks like.
I love a book that make me cry. I love a book that drags out the emotion in me. This book did that and more. I hadn’t realised how much I needed a good cry and this one felt almost cathartic. I hadn’t realised how much I needed to address some of the situations brought up in this book until I saw the writing on the page, and I have a feeling I won’t be the only one thinking that, so many people will be able to relate to – both males and females!
Life is not all hearts and flowers, relationships are not always easy and Fewery balances expertly on the really thin line between a book that could be sad and painful to read and one that ends up being honest and endearing.
The ending (don’t worry, I won’t be giving any spoilers) is utterly perfect. It left me wishing I could hunt each of the characters down and hug them close. Esme and Tom’s journey became so real for me, one that I felt privileged to have joined them on. For a debut novel, Our Life in a Day has set the bar high. I look forward to seeing what Fewery comes up with next and will make sure I stock up on the tissues ahead of time.
Heartbreaking, Raw and Real. A truly honest look at the ups and downs of real life and real love.
(Many thanks to Orion and Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting us to take part in this blog tour.)
Published by: Orion