Neville is quite the ordinary man, neither a saint nor a devil. He’s got some hangups but also some righteous anger. As he drifts in the in-between, he’s guided by a rather blunt, grumpy man. Neville has to face all the things he loved and hated in life and one by one let go so that he can move on to the next stage of existence.
Not much happens in this book. It’s a quiet, personal, and emotionally challenging journey for Neville and us readers are just along for the ride. In this sense, I would compare it to some of Guy Gavriel Kay’s books where the story is all about a character’s personal growth. Honestly, at first I wasn’t too sure where this tale would go but I was hooked on Neville and really wanted to see what he would make of it.
Perhaps half way through the tale we learn more about Tessa, Neville’s older sister, and why he holds such anger towards her. I really liked this scene because it gave me both sides of the larger issues that stood between the two. They both made mistakes and they both had to pay for them.
Neville’s bland wife Catherine wasn’t all the interesting. We only get small snatches of her, seeing how she’s done her best to support Neville emotionally throughout the years. I would have liked more about her because I’m pretty sure she had hobbies or friends or personal tribulations.
A few more minor characters come into play. Dennis is the office parasite. There’s a memory of Neville’s dog Wilbur. There’s also a lovely lady at the office that could be Neville’s friend or his undoing. The cast was pretty small for this book and I think that makes it ideal for a stage play.
There were a few times when the story lagged a little for me. I felt that Neville had made his point but then slid into the Whiny Zone. The first time, this was part of his character but as he did it more and more often, I became a little tired of it.
On a side note, as Neville fades in and out of life throughout this book, he often mentions tingling in his personal bits. Yep. Honestly, after the second time it added a little humor to the tale. Neville’s nethers are tingling again! Perhaps it’s just me or perhaps the author was trying to work in a reference to Neville’s root chakra.
All together, I was entertained throughout the book. The tale has some weight as Neville confronts his own shortcomings and overcomes them. This is a small, quiet tale that left me with some deep thinking to do.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kyle Tait. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Narration: Kyle Tait was a perfect fit for this book. He was great as Neville, capturing the often subtle emotions of this character. His female voices were also believable and all the character voices were distinct. I especially loved his voice of the grumpy guide that Neville is plagued by as he transitions from the living to the after life.