Book Reviews

Should We Fall Behind By Sharon Duggal

What Da Cover Says: Jimmy Noone escapes his difficult life in a small town and finds himself living on the streets of a big city where he meets Betwa, who brings with her a chance of real friendship and a glimpse of new hope. Betwa disappears and Jimmy walks across the sprawling metropolis searching for her.

He arrives on Shifnal Road on the other side of the river where people from all over the world live side by side yet some inhabitants are so isolated they seem to have disappeared altogether. Jimmy becomes the catalyst for their lives colliding.

Journeys to the street and to the city are retraced, so too are stories abundant with lost dreams, unrivalled friendship, profound love and stifling grief, each underpinned with the subtle threads of commonality which intersect them all.

Should We Fall Behind is about the passing of time, and the intricate weaves of joy and suffering, love and loss which shape human life along the way. It is about the people who have somehow become invisible, and how their stories make them visible once more.

What I Says: I knew from the title and the cover that this story was going to be heart-breaking, and yet I was still unprepared by just how hard it would hit me, so much grief and that small chance of hope left a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Duggal has got some amazing characters here, they are the sort of characters that really make you examine yourself and leave you wondering if you could deal with what life happens to throw at you. I am ashamed to admit that I judged one of the characters almost instantly and I was completely wrong about that person (not naming names to avoid any spoilers).

The plot of the story is about Jimmy, a young lad living on the streets, he is searching for a lost friend, he ends up sleeping in an abandoned car near where she grew up in the hope of finding her. His arrival has an impact on the lives of those living nearby, his presence pushes them to rethink their lives and their interactions with each other trigger a series of forgotten memories. You will fall for the characters, you’ll find yourself unexpectedly caring for them and hoping that things turn around for them.

This book is so full of potential for hope that you can’t help getting emotional, the last 50 pages are incredible, a real rollercoaster that had me smiling one minute almost welling up the next….(luckily I am a robot and am unable to cry)…and as I got to the last pages I had no idea how this book could end in a satisfactory way but Duggal pulls it off by giving the reader a perfect ending.

This book is going to be one I recommend to everybody by showing them the last line of the book’s blurb:

It is about the people who have somehow become invisible, and how their stories make them visible once more.

Thanks to Bluemoose Books for this review copy. You can get the book from HERE once it is released in October.

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