Sunday, 15 November 2015
A Scrapbook for Summer
It was inspired by his 2013 experience of taking part in the annual Shine Walk which is organised to raise money for the charity, Cancer Research UK.
He was participating in it for a young girl who was recovering from Cancer.
He realised that the Shine Walk, which is a marathon walk that takes place overnight, taking the participants past the most iconic landmarks of London, would make a very good basis for a novel.
A Scrapbook for Summer follows Ben as he participates in the Shine Walk, having taken the decision to take the place in the walk left vacant by the death of his free-spirited girlfriend, Summer, who was taken away from Ben by the cancer that had taken over her body.
Ben sees this as one last thing that he can do for Summer.
It begins as sad evening, but as it progresses through the 26 miles, it transforms into something beautiful when he meets fellow walker Annie who encourages him to participate, using the scrapbook of London's rich history that Summer had encouraged him to keep.
As they progress through the long walk, passing the many iconic sites of the capital city of England, many thoughts and memories, some good, some bad, flood through Ben's mind.
There were secrets from Summer's past life that Ben felt guilty about, even though they were not his responsibility. Secrets that split them apart yet, paradoxically, bring them back together at the end of Summer's life.
And after the 26 mile walk, Ben feels, at last, able to continue with his life.
This is a remarkably human romantic novel, filled with joy, pathos and the promise of new beginnings.
It is published by Matador at £8.99 and will make an excellent Christmas gift for the readers in your life who like cerebral romantic novels.
It is, of course, available for purchase through the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, to be found to the right of this book review.