Monday, 6 January 2014

No Regrets by Bernard O'Keefe

Today's review is brought to you by my dad, Colin.

Colin is a lecturer who has just started to get back into reading for pleasure after years of textbooks knocked the enjoyment out of discovering the wonderful written word.
He is currently enjoying the ecliptic collection of books his daughter has stored around the house.



What would happen if you spent a year accepting every invitation that came your way? Rick is about to find out...

He’s had a bad year. Sarah, his wife of nearly twenty five years, has walked out on him to move in with Colin. Perhaps they simply grew apart, perhaps the magic was no longer there, or perhaps, as his friend Jerry suggests, Rick has become boring. This nagging thought, together with too much beer on New Year’s Eve and shock at the sudden death of his college friend Alex, leads Rick to a New Year’s resolution…

To make the most of the time he has left, and show himself and his old friend Jerry that he is not boring, he will undertake a peculiar challenge: for a whole year he will accept every invitation that comes his way. Any invitation. No excuses. No regrets.



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No Regrets by Bernard O'Keefe was a challenging read not least of all because the main characters nemisis the person who plays moriarty to his Sherlock is a Guy called Colin. The author goes on to hurt the feelings of this particular reviewer by describing all Colin's as Twats. As a Colin I took exception to this bold colinaphobic behaviour and I will admit that it took a great deal of self persuasion convincing myself to continue with this read.

And I am glad that I did. The basic story is the oft too familiar tale of a couples seperation and their attempts to function in an ever changing world without the comfort and confidence of facing problems together. The stability provided by the crutch of a partner has been taken away. And without the warmth of their close supportive mate we witness their struggle to live in an environment that has changed beyond recognition during their time together.

Rick's wife Sarah has left him and moved in with Colin. New Years Eve and Jerry one of Ricks's oldest, steady and upright friends suggested that Sarah may have left because Rick had become predictable and boring. He could have taken this criticism from anyone but from a staid Mr average like Jerry it particularly hurt.

Jerry challenged Rick to open himself up to opportunities and new adventures by accepting every invitation he gets in the coming year. A little irked by the insinued weakness and frailty in his own personna Rick who was a little inebriated at the time decides to accept the challenge.

No Regrets takes the reader on a voyage of discovery as Rick trundles half heartedly at first through new adventures. However, Rick starts to enjoy the stimulus and exposure to situations that he had previously avoided. He becomes fitter and more decisive. He starts to listen to his two Children both of whom are attending University . This adventure is driven by a strong undercurrent that is provided by the sudden death of Alex. Alex was a close family friend to both Rick and Jerry and he was a fun loving devil may care lothario who was idolised for the way he grabbed life with both hands and squeezed every last drop of living out of it. He probably didn't know it but he was envied by many and his death had made Rick think of his own mortality and what he had achieved during his life.

The book is well written and the reader is taken on an adventurous journey through the trials and tribulations that Rick must endure and enjoy if he is going to survive alone. He walks a tightrope trying to please everyone and remain friends with his ex. Can this be achieved or will Rick realise that his old life has gone and that he is actually boring, just like Jerry said he was.

I actually cared about Rick. When Sarah left she took more than her suitcase she removed his trust and a very large part of his heart. I wanted Rick to succeed. I wanted him to move on. I wanted him to make a better life for himself by becoming a better person. I think he achieved it and if you want to find out if he achieves happiness. I suggest you read this book. I certainly have No Regrets, that I did.

4/5

I would like to thank Bernard for sending me a copy for review.

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