I’m delighted to bring back into the limelight this wonderful, funny, heartfelt and often poignant story of Andrew and Peggy in Something to Live For by Richard Roper. Today sees the paperback publication of this brilliant book, complete with a lovely new cover.
I first read this book in June of last year and was just thrilled with it. It’s so funny and yet at the same time such a tender story which in places can almost break your heart. I loved it so much that it was in my Top Bookshelf Picks of 2019 under the heading of Contemporary Fiction and Humour. Here’s my review from last year.
A bit more from the author
Picture the scene. It’s Monday morning and you’re making a cup of tea in the shared kitchen when someone casually asks how your weekend was. ‘Oh, I just had a quiet one,’ you’ll say, because the truth was you spent 48 hours eating crisps and performing Torvill and Dean’s Bolero routine with your confused cat. What I’m trying to say is that we all tell white lies. Unfortunately for Andrew, the protagonist of this book, his has got rather out of hand, leaving him with a choice: stay where he is – lonely, unfulfilled, but comfortable – or tell the truth and risk his life falling apart for a chance to be happy.
Andrew’s story is inspired by an article I stumbled across, about the council workers who deal with situations when someone dies alone. Their days are spent sifting through the ephemera of those who’ve slipped through the cracks, searching for clues to a next of kin, working out how much money the deceased has left behind. In 1984 a law was passed that made councils responsible for burying someone when – as the euphemistic wording sets out – ‘no suitable arrangements have been made’. While the council workers are required to make these arrangements, they are under no obligation to attend the funerals. Yet they do, sometimes dozens of them a year, just to make sure at least someone is there.
Sometimes the smallest gestures can be the most meaningful.
This is Andrew’s story. I hope you enjoy it.
Meet the characters
Everybody likes Andrew. But they don’t really know him.
They know what he’s told them – that he’s happily married with two kids. Living the kind of life that’s either so boring it’s true, or so perfect it’s a lie…
Peggy arrives in Andrew’s life in a burst of kindness and possibility. For the first time in ages, Andrew feels alive again. So now that he has everything to lose, can he risk it all and tell Peggy the truth?
The buzz, the quotes, the love…..
‘A perfect, quirky summer page-turner. A life-affirming debut’
– THE SUNDAY TIMES
‘Funny, moving and thought-provoking – I loved this’ – Clare Mackintosh
‘A poignant, superbly funny debut novel about love, loneliness and the many ways life doesn’t always go to plan’ – WATERSTONES
‘Nick Hornby and David Nicholls’ quirky love child would write like Richard Roper. Something to Live For is endearing, funny and life-affirming, with a perfect dose of loneliness and human kindness’ – Caroline Smailes
‘Tragic, sweet, and hopeful…This novel will appeal to fans of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ – BOOKLIST
….And many, many more, proving just how loved this book really is. So if you haven’t read it yet, today’s your ideal opportunity – off you go, buy the paperback – I promise, you will fall in love with it too.
It’s available on Amazon and here’s the link – but as it’s a paperback how about a visit to your local bookshop – they’re all open now, a perfect excuse for a little browse.
♥ Happy Reading ♥
A postscript. As I had this post all prepared and ready to go on Tuesday I used a library photo for the front cover of the book (also my photography skills are not the best). Late on yesterday my promised copy of the real thing arrived in the post and I had to show you a photo of it. Lovely shiny raised writing for the title and those two ducks in the middle are raised and shiny too. A beautiful cover for a wonderful book.