Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Quickie Review: No Going Back by Alex Gutteridge

Title: No Going Back
Author: Alex Gutteridge
Author Info: Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: contemporary
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Publication Date: 1st July 2014

Tell Me About It
A moving contemporary tale of family, love and loss from the author of Last Chance Angel.

Teenager Laura gets the shock of her life when she moves to rural Derbyshire and finds the ghost of her dead father in her grandmother's home. At first Laura is overjoyed to see him, but as time passes she begins to wonder why her dad is finding it so difficult to move on, and why her mother still refuses to talk about his death.

What is the secret that has been kept from her for all these years?
My Thoughts
When I first heard about No Going Back it was at a blogger e vent, and I knew I HAD to read this one. No Going Back was a relatively quick read for me, but one that I enjoyed. This is also the first book by Alex that I have read (even though I do have one waiting to be read) so I went into this with no idea of what to expect from her writing style.

No Going Back was more than I expected. There is a deep, seating feeling of loss throughout the book, but also of family, and new starts, and first love, and I often found myself reaching for the tissues. Laura was easy for me to like, and sympathise with. Her feelings of losing her dad are still raw, and made worse by the move to her Grandmothers. When her Dad comes back to visit her it was a happy occasion for her, she is able to tell him how she feels and how she felt about it all. But this happiness is short lived as her dad's constant presence occasionally puts a damper on things.

Laura is struggling with a lot of things, and when it is all added up it is quite a lot for a young teenager to deal with. Although she isn't happy with the move, she does make the best of this situation, and also with her Dad's arrival. However I do feel that on occasion she did act slightly immature for her age, especially the outbursts she has.

I really liked seeing this new situation for all involved, and seeing how a family that is starting to fall apart at the seams can find a way to make things work again, even if the result of this was the possibility of losing someone they love. The progress made was slow, tough, but worth it all. The one surprise that was revealed was not something I expected, and although it was too late in the revealing, it was nice to see how it was all handled in a mature, civilised way.

As I mentioned, No Going Back was occasionally an emotional read for me, and certain passages in the book really touched a nerve, they are exactly how I feel and it feels like Alex has rummaged around my head and written my thoughts and feelings down on paper.
"On the outside you look the same as everyone else, except some people can't hide the sadness behind their eyes. It's not the sadness that makes you miserable all the time. It's more a sense of incompleteness, a feeling that on the inside you're different because you can never be sure of anything ever again."
[Page 156-157 UK paperback]
"It does get better but there's always the feeling that there's something missing, like a bit of your heart has been chipped away."
[Page 157-158 UK paperback]
 After finishing this book I am determined to dig out Alex's other book and make a start on that.

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