- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 5322 KB
- Print Length: 263 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00ALIV3MA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #741,633 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Good Day for Jumping: When separate worlds collide... Kindle Edition
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Stephen Firth seems like your average ne'er-do-well rich boy. He abandons his emotionally fragile fiance even as their guests arrive at the church and runs to his maternal homeland of Greece. But there are realities that can't be escaped. Stephen thinks he's taken back control of his future. He has no idea that there's someone behind the scenes pulling strings and keeping secrets.
Joyce Shackleton is a force to be reckoned with in the tiny professional kingdom she's created for herself over the past two decades. Her co-workers would say that her job is her life. In truth, it's only one of her lives. Despite Joyce's best efforts, her separate worlds collide in a way that she cannot ignore.
Spicer does a great job playing these and her other characters off of one another. She parses out facts in little tidbits, that may or may not mean what you think they do. This builds plenty of tension. Just when you think you understand what's going on, there's a twist. I especially enjoyed the contrast of urban/suburban London with sun-drenched Greece. Both locales were drawn in fine detail--down to the flavors of the meals and the smells in the alleyways.
A great read for those who don't necessarily need their fiction to end tied in a neat bow.
Initially, we are confronted by Steve, a man returning to his roots in Crete, alone for some reason we do not know. He drifts without purpose from one bar to another, walks aimlessly up hills and finally makes a connection with a bar owner and his extended family. Their stories are grafted seamlessly onto Steve’s. They, like we, assess his character and his situation. Who is he? What is he doing here? What is he running away from?
Meanwhile, back in the UK, Sarah takes up a new secretarial position in an advertising agency. Her story weaves itself into Steve’s, as, in turn, does that of her brother in Afghanistan. Then we meet Joyce, the woman Sarah is replacing, Joyce’s part-time lover and her querulous mother. The story moves backwards and forwards in time. It all becomes enmeshed into the first root-stock, colouring it, adding light and shade, perfume, flavour. One might argue that perhaps there are too many side-stories, some of them don’t add directly to the leader. On the other hand the character I most wanted to meet - Steve’s mother - was absent altogether. Some of the time-shifts are a little abrupt and bewildering but I like a book which demands something of me as a reader. I was kept on my toes.
Always, in my mind, was the book’s title. Who is going to jump? What from? Why? And although in the end this proves to be not quite what I anticipated, it maintained a tension like a taut wire as the narrative unfurled.
Steve is an intriguing character; not a hero, but not a villain either. He is what many young men finding themselves in his position would be; feckless, selfish, lost, endearingly honest about his own failings.
This writer is a natural; her prose is effortless and evocative, her dialogue very natural. She tells her story entirely from the points of view of her many characters, keeping herself aloof and her secrets close to her chest. Some of the insights offered by peripheral characters could have been filled in by a strong narrative voice; arguably, this might have made the text tighter, perhaps? But I am picking unnecessary holes, here. This is a very good book.
There is strong descriptive work throughout, most notably the textures of the book's various locales and the mannerisms and eccentricities of its wide range of ancillary characters.
Despite struggling somewhat to identify with the central characters I enjoyed their interlaced narratives and the somewhat disorientating shifts in space/viewpoint. This did prove to be something of a double-edged sword however, as in the later stages I found the book a little drawn-out and meandering. I had to consciously reel in the thread on a number of occasions, although it should be noted that I have a thick hide and the attention span of a gnat, so I tend to favour punchier, more concentrated fiction. Taking a step back from my personal preferences, there is a lot to enjoy and admire here and it's a strong piece of work by any measure.
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