It’s a welcome return to Linda’s Book Bag by Ross Greenwood today as I review Fifty Years of Fear. Ross lives in my nearest town and I was privileged to interview him here. After that interview, quite a bit happened to Ross and he told me all about it as I reviewed his next book, The Boy Inside here.
Fifty Years of Fear was published on 1st October 2017 and is available for purchase here. However, as part of these launch celebrations there’s the chance for one lucky UK reader to win a signed copy of Fifty Years of Fear lower down this blog post.
Fifty Years of Fear
Could you forgive murder? What if it was something worse?
A childhood accident robs Vincent of his memories, causing him to become sensitive and anxious around others. His differences attract bullies, and he comes to rely heavily on the support of his family.
After the devastating loss of his parents, a remarkable woman teaches him to embrace life and, little by little, he realises the world is far more forgiving than he imagined. When fragments of his memory return, he begins to unravel his past.
Who was his mother? What kind of a man is his brother, Frank? And why does death surround them?
Fate is cruel. History is dark. Things are not as they seem.
Perhaps he should have stayed at home.
My Review of Fifty Years of Fear
It seems Vincent is a shy lad with a volatile older brother, a supportive mother and a very sick father. Appearances can be deceptive.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to read Fifty Years of Fear because Vincent’s father’s illness felt too close to my own father’s and brought back painful memories so it took me a while to relax into reading Fifty Years of Fear.
It’s a book that surprised me. I was expecting something less socially revealing and contemplative. I found out more about the workings of a young male mind in reading Vincent’s first person narrative than I have in any other book. I was slowly drawn into his story so that as the plot developed I was surprised by some of the events and I’m not entirely sure I can answer the literal questions posed at the end. I was forced almost against my will to consider nature and nurture and how our environment affects us as we mature. Fifty Years of Fear felt less like a narrative and more like a memoir to me and was interesting as a result. I think the fact that I have encountered many like Vincent and Frank when I was teaching enabled me to connect with their lives and appreciate that their experiences are only too possible.
I really enjoyed the anchoring in social history from that very first 1966 opening. Ross Greenwood knows how to use iconic images to give the reader a thorough idea of time although I’d have liked greater detail for the settings on occasion.
I’m not sure if I enjoyed Fifty Years of Fear. I found it moving, often humorous, and always entertaining and interesting. But it made me question aspects of society that I’m not sure I wanted to consider. The themes of relationships, loss, grief, guilt and love were so intricately drawn that I find I’m still pondering Ross Greenwood’s writing long after I’ve finished the book. I urge you to read Fifty Years of Fear to see for yourself.
About Ross Greenwood
Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.
Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”
Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.
Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and now, Fifty Years of Fear, is out. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.
Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
There’s more with these other bloggers too:
UK readers can click here to enter to win a signed copy of Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood, but be quick! Giveaway closes at noon tomorrow 10th October 2017.
Please note this giveaway is being run independently of Linda’s Book Bag.