by Nigel Jay Cooper
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Pub Date 30 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 8 Aug 2022
John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Roundfire Books
When Gavin meets Jackie on a bench in the local park, he thinks she's a stranger. She knows better. She’s connected to him in ways he can’t yet imagine.
She swore she wouldn’t do this again but it's real this time. So real, she might do something reckless and tell him everything.
He’ll understand. It wasn’t her fault, not really. Perhaps he’ll forgive her, even if she can never forgive herself.
A Note From the Publisher
I thoroughly enjoyed Life, Slightly – I was very moved and at times felt quite emotional and tearful as I read. A good choice for a reader who wants to be immersed in the lives of two very different but interesting characters and follow them over many years! They will hold a special place in your heart!
Intensive Gassing About Books
This is a story about friends, family, sexuality, choices, the impact on others of those choices, and whether life should be lived fearlessly... This was such an authentic read... it left me with a massive book hangover, and this masterpiece of a story will stay with me for some time.
Jo Shaw, Book Blogger
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 15 members
Absolutely breathtakingly lovely book. I really could not stop reading it. It makes you evaluate your own life and situation to make sure you are making the most of every moment.
Oh wow! A stunning read that may just make you stop and think. Jackie is talking to Gavin, getting him to open up to her about his life as he’s rather melancholy. Gavin thinks Jackie is a stranger, only she knows more about him than he realises. Gavin is married and has an eight year old son. When they were all at school Gavin had a close friend Steve and discovered something he wasn't aware of. Something he has tried to deny ever since but it hasn't gone away which is causing him angst.
There's something special about this book, something I can't quite put my finger on. I liked Gavin and felt for his predicament. It's about life with all its ups and downs and the secrets we keep, sometimes without realising why. Relationships and the complexity therein and being true to ourselves as well as to others. There are plenty of wise words in this book, ones that made me stop, pause the reading and read again to sink in- to me a voice of experience in life and a reflection. It's a heartwarming read and one that grabbed my heart and left me with a smile- not only at the ending but about life itself. The past is just that, tomorrow isn't a given. Today is the present- treat it well.
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Nigel Jay Cooper gives us, again, wonderful characters. The topics discussed between two characters while sitting on a park bench are timely and relevant. Cooper's talent with narrative pulls the reader in and holds us in his thrall. Excellent!
This was a really enjoyable, immersive and at times, emotional read with well rounded, and authentic characters and an intriguing premise. The writing was intelligent and thought provoking with some really beautiful passages. The characters drew me in and I found myself truly invested in their stories which kept me engaged throughout. There was much to take away from this book in the way of observations and reflections on human connections and relationships, and the impact of the choices we make and is ultimately a powerful, compelling and engaging story that will stay with me. This is the first book I have read by this author, despite having had his earlier books on my wish list for some time. I will definitely be rectifying that as I am keen to read more, especially learning that characters in this book feature in earlier books. Thanks to NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing for the opportunity to read.
Gavin meets Jackie in the local park. He doesn't think he knows her but she knows exactly who he is. As they talk and share their personal stories, their connections gradually emerge. There is a delicate drip feed of past actions and and consequent emotions.
This is a beautifully written novel about the nature of life and the way in which we choose to live it. Do we know ourselves well enough to live our best lives? Are we brave enough to do so or be prepared to live with regret?
The characters are totally realistic and the author demonstrates his mastery of genuine and engaging dialogue. I can hear and see Gavin and Jackie as they converse in the park. Although the narrative moves between the present and the past it all takes place on the bench in the park. There is a rewarding intimacy in this setting which is completely engaging.
I highly recommend this very special book. It is rewarding as a standalone but it also features characters from Nigel Cooper's previous novels, Beat the Rain and The Pursuit of the Ordinary which are also terrific reads.
I am a big fan of Nigel Jay Cooper's work and this story did not disappoint. It took some pages for me to wrap my head around the nuances of Jackie but then I was hooked. After finishing the last pages I can't shake the thought of the stories that are behind the people we cross paths with every single day. Would we be kinder if we knew their history? Could It be freeing to tell a stranger our honest raw emotions? This novel revolves around two people doing just that. The characters are well developed with compelling storylines that kept me turning the pages as I had to know more. I read this quickly because I simply didn't want to put It down.
A special thank you to Nigel Jay Cooper and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
A heart breaking story in so many ways, this one won't fail to keep you hooked in whilst breaking your heart at stages too. So relevant to real life, you will be moved by this book.
Oh my! Cooper is one of my favorite all-time authors so I may have let out a little "whoop" when I received this ARC! Like his other two novels, Cooper is able to infuse honesty, humor, and remarkable insights into every book he writes. At the heart of this one is protagonist Gavin, and Jackie who is an eccentric soul he meets by chance on a park bench. As he reveals his "story," we see a haunted young man who was bullied in school and afraid to admit his attraction to other boys, even when he kissed classmate Steve. Told in alternating past and present, the book reveals his eventual marriage, the birth of his son, and his ambivalent feelings about his sexuality that he alternately hides but can't deny. There are so many relevant themes that Cooper addresses: rejection, addiction, social anxiety, and passion--just to name a few! Gavin comes to realize his "cage" doesn't have to trap him forever and I am still tearing up after reading this fabulous novel. Just hope Cooper is at work on his next one!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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