Six Months to Get a Life by Ben Adams

Six months

My thanks to Ben Adams for providing a copy of his novel for review saying ‘I’m quite happy with honesty, so if it isn’t your favourite book, be sure to tell me.’ (He didn’t have to worry!)

Graham’s life is a mess. The father of two teenage boys, he’s in a dead end job and is going through divorce. Deciding to give himself the six months before his 43rd birthday to get his life back in order, Graham meets Amy whilst walking his newly acquired dog. This could be the start of something positive – and possibly complicated, given his son, Jack, falls for Amy’s daughter Lucy. Unfortunately for Graham, he has a nasty habit of managing to say and do exactly the wrong thing at the wrong moment so getting to that birthday is never going to be easy.

I really enjoyed ‘Six Months to Get a Life’. I found it better written than some more established writers in this genre. Structured around short daily diary entries, the reader is given access to Graham’s inner most thoughts so that they get a real sense of who he is as a man. The diary format makes Ben Adams’ story an effective and accessible read.

The writing is fluid and engaging. There is considerable humour underlying Graham’s haplessness and on occasion I found myself laughing out loud. However, that is not to say that there isn’t real tragedy and emotion too and a twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. Reading Ben Adams’  ‘Six Months to Get A Life’ put me in mind of a more mature male perspective ‘Bridget Jones’ and the lessons Graham learns along the way would benefit anyone who reads the book.

Just occasionally I found the first person pronoun a little overused and might have liked a little more variety in the style, but then this is Graham’s diary so I suppose he can write it any way he likes!

One real success is Graham’s avoidance of his ex’s name. It put me in mind of Curley’s Wife in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ where the woman is never named to try to reduce her status. As Graham finds out, preventing his ex from influencing his life is not as simple as he’d like it to be!

I’d certainly recommend ‘Six  Months to Get a Life’ to both male and female readers, and especially anyone who wants to know how to get their life back in order after a messy divorce! I’ll definitely be reading Ben Adams’ next book ‘Six Lies’

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