I am hugely indebted to Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications for providing a review copy of ‘Being Someone’ by Adrian Harvey. It can be purchased direct from the publisher here https://urbanepublications.com/books/being-someone/ and all good bookshops. Adrian Harvey features as one of W H Smith’s Fresh Talent writers.
James is drifting through life with little thought or direction. Not particularly good at his job and without a life partner there is little of real interest for him until he meets Lainey – a woman of beauty and confidence – who gives him some substance and a reason for existing.
‘Being Someone’ is a love story, but it is so much more. Starting with a death in the opening paragraph I wondered the direction the narrative would take and it is not until the last few pages of the novel that all the threads are pulled together and the symbolism is clear. The reader needs the twists and turns in James’ life fully to appreciate the significance of an opening story set in India. This is master storytelling as the parallels between James and Annayya are revealed.
Adrian Harvey writes with skill and intelligence, creating a sense of place absolutely clearly, whether it is London, New York or India being described. His attention to detail is stunning.
However, Harvey’s greatest skill is in creating the character of James. Because I read so many books authored by women, or featuring them as protagonists, having a male perspective on relationships and life was both interesting and compelling. James is a flawed, complex personality with almost a built in self-destruct button. Having finished the novel, I’m still not clear if I have sympathy or empathy for James – if I want to hold him or punch him.
‘Being Someone’ is erudite, literary and beautifully crafted. It is also accessible and a thorough pleaasure to read. James’ attempts at being someone will resonate with all who read the book.