Ever Rest by Roz Morris

The world was a very different place when I met Roz Morris for afternoon tea at a book launch in London almost two years ago. Today I am delighted to share my review of Roz’s latest book, Ever Rest. My enormous thanks to Roz for sending me a copy of Ever Rest in return for an honest review.

Published yesterday, 3rd June 2021, Ever Rest is available for purchase in all the usual places including here.

Ever Rest

Twenty years ago, Hugo and Ash were on top of the world. As the acclaimed rock band Ashbirds they were poised for superstardom. Then Ash went missing, lost in a mountaineering accident, and the lives of Hugo and everyone around him were changed forever. Irrepressible, infuriating, mesmerizing Ash left a hole they could never hope to fill.

Two decades on, Ash’s fiancée Elza is still struggling to move on, her private grief outshone by the glare of publicity. The loss of such a rock icon is a worldwide tragedy. Hugo is now a recluse in Nepal, shunning his old life. Robert, an ambitious session player, feels himself both blessed and cursed by his brief time with Ashbirds, unable to achieve recognition in his own right.

While the Ashbirds legend burns brighter than ever, Elza, Hugo and Robert are as stranded as if they were the ones lost in the ice. How far must they go to come back to life?

My Review of Ever Rest

The repercussions of Ash’s disappearance 20 years ago continue.

I had absolutely no idea what kind of book I was about to read when I picked up Ever Rest, but I hadn’t expected such an intense, beautifully crafted work of literary fiction. There’s a smooth sophistication to Roz Morris writing that makes for a really pleasurable read, especially when it’s coupled with natural dialogue and a variety of sentences where exposition and description are perfectly balanced. Ever Rest feels like a book of real quality. There’s a quietness somehow, that belies the intensity of emotion presented that I found quite mesmerising. Similarly, the description is frequently poetic but never self-conscious so that I had a truly striking image in my mind’s eye as I read.

There’s no fast paced thriller here, but rather an insightful understanding of character and the emotions we experience. I was fascinated by each of the characters, although I didn’t especially warm to any of them. This was because they are presented so vividly, flaws and all, so that the reader has a better understanding of them than the characters do of themselves. Roz Morris explores so deftly the way the past shapes our present, and how, like Ash, we can become frozen in the personas others impose upon us so that we lose sight of our true selves. I found Ever Rest a highly thought provoking read as a result. I found Ash’s presence so cleverly wrought. He’s been missing for years but is still the catalyst for the action here.
I loved Roz Morris’ authoritative presentation of the music world and the exploration of fame and its impact. From paparazzi to security, artistic endeavour to charitable fund raising, loyalty to betrayal, Ever Rest affords the reader a glimpse into an unfamiliar world and I finished the book feeling glad I have never been exposed to the pressures fame can bring. So many here compromise their lives because of the control and manipulation of others that Ever Rest is quite a disturbing book as well as an entertaining one.
I thought the title was inspired. There’s a convincing exploration of the risks and thrills of mountaineering with the need to provide Ashten with his ever, or eternal, rest. The things that happen to those who remain, or rest, behind, and the dominance of Everest the mountain itself, all swirl through this beautifully crafted book.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ever Rest. It’s sophisticated, written with sensitivity and aplomb and thought provoking too.

About Roz Morris

Roz Morris writes fiction and essays about unusual ways we can be haunted and how we seek people and places we belong with. Her work has been profiled by The Guardian, Literature Works, the Potomac Review, Rain Taxi and BBC Radio. Her novel Lifeform Three was longlisted for the World Fantasy Award.

Her fiction has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, although you won’t have seen her name on the covers – she began her career in secret, ghostwriting fiction for big-name authors.

Her own novels have been described as ‘profound tales and compelling page-turners’, with fine-honed language, unforgettable characters, and gripping, unusual storylines. Plaudits include a top-ranked title in the American Library Journal programme, a longlisting for an international award alongside Neil Gaiman and a finalist position in the People’s Book Prize 2017.

She is a writer, journalist, fiction editor and the author of the Nail Your Novel series for writers. She teaches creative writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper in London and is also the author of a series for writers – Nail Your Novel.

For more information, visit Roz’s website, follow her on Twitter @Roz_Morris and find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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