Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…
Andrew works with death for a living. Searching for people’s next of kin and attending the funerals if they don’t have anyone, he’s desperate to avoid the same fate for himself. Which is fine, because he has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.
The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him.
Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading Something to Live For, but this novel definitely surprised me. Despite the storyline being quite depressing at times, it had a lot of amusing, humorous moments and lots of heartfelt parts too, without ever feeling overdone or cheesy.
Andrew is a well developed main character – he’s very likeable for the reader but largely unconfident and struggling to deal with various parts of his life that haven’t turned out quite as he’d hoped, meaning he often makes decisions that I wanted to shout at him not to do. Andrew has accidentally ended up spinning a web of lies around his personal life to his work colleagues, and keeping up the pretence is causing him to feel stressed and anxious. As we read more of the novel we start to uncover how this came about and what reasons there are in Andrew’s past that have led up to this point. There’s a surprisingly emotional layer to all these lies, and I really felt for Andrew at times. I cared what happened to him, which is always a plus when reading a novel like this.
Andrew’s job – a council worker who inspects the properties of people who have died alone, trying to find out if they have a next of kin or any family or friends to sort out their affairs after they’ve gone. It’s a very sombre job and it really makes you think about death in a different way – what happens to those people who don’t have their own families, housemates, or people around to miss them when they’ve gone? It’s not something I would usually think about, and it’s certainly an interesting (a quite sad) topic. Andrew’s burgeoning friendship with Peggy is enjoyable to read about, and the more we find out about Andrew’s backstory the more of a pull I felt from this novel.
There is one situation/ scene towards the end of the book which I felt was something Andrew probably wouldn’t have arranged in reality, but on the whole I think Something to Live For is an engaging, thoughtful read. It strikes just the right balance between entertainment, humour and emotion, and I would definitely read more from Richard Roper.
Many thanks to the publisher, Orion, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.