Pursuit of Ordinary, The

Pursuit of Ordinary, The

Who gets to say what's normal?


After witnessing a fatal car accident, a homeless man wanders the streets of Brighton, trying to ignore the new, incessant voice inside his head. But he can’t forget the crash, can't get the face of the woman cradling her dying husband out of his mind. She stared into his eyes, his soul. He has to find her.

Is Dan ill or has he really been possessed by the spirit of Natalie's dead husband, Joe? If he hasn't, why does she let him into her home so easily? Does she have secrets of her own? The Pursuit of Ordinary is a twisting tale of modern life and mental health where nothing is what it seems...

Following the success of debut novel Beat the Rain, Roundfire introduces the second book from bestselling author Nigel Jay Cooper.


This is a truly excellent and original novel. It had me hooked from the first page and it will stay long in my memory. The writing and characterisation are first class. I fell a little bit in love with Dan, the homeless man, who witnesses a fatal accident and believes that the victim, Joe, has become a voice within his head. Joe’s wife, Natalie witnessed the accident and she and Dan become bound together by this shared experience. This novel pulls no punches about mental health and the way in which it can affect relationships. Having said that, it is definitely not a depressing read. It is written with great insight and compassion and some of the conversations between Dan and Joe made me laugh out loud. This is a novel about relationships and how they can define us. It is about love, loss, the human condition and how we can try and fix each other. I loved it. Do yourself a huge favour and read this book. Finally, I think it would make a tremendous film. Five Stars. ~ Mary H, Amazon, Goodreads

A creative and unique story, beautifully and elegantly told. An exploration of mental health in its myriad presentations, some not so obvious. Expertly paced and the parts that seem repetitive offer nuance and insight from the differing perspective. Some suspense with a huge dosage of hope and heart. For some, ordinary is not a dirty word. 5 Stars. ~ Wendy Del Toro, Goodreads

I recommended this book to my book club before I read it so was worried that may not like it as much as last book but needn't have worried because if anything liked it even more. Both the main characters were complex, flawed and yet likeable and was easy to understand why they did as they did, given the issues covered of mental health and domestic violence this was quite an ache I've met. It is not often that writers can write with such understanding and empathy about coercive relationships, especially why seemingly confident and competent women can find themselves isolated and vulnerable and I really felt for Natalie.I also thought it was a brilliant evocation of how loss and mental health issues can blight lives but more importantly about the redemptive power of love, especially the love of Dan's father. 5 Stars. ~ Katie McFarlane, Goodreads

I’ve been glued to this book since the first page, the story is fluent and told by the different views of each character. Sometimes the situations overlap when the characters explain what they think or feel making the story easy to follow and understand. This had been an amazing read and will be on my top ten for this year, it was a compelling and bittersweet read that I am sure will delight all type of readers. Do you have an ordinary life? ~ Elizabeth Moffat, Book blogger, http://www.bibliobeth.com

I loved this book, it was well written and some good plot twists. You are actually left wondering who has the mental illness. This book covers some pretty harsh topics, domestic abuse, homelessness, depression and mental illness. The story is told from the point of views of both main characters. Will be recommending to others. ~ Sharon Healey , NetGalley

This is a compelling read, thankfully I was on holiday when I started reading the book so didn’t need to put it down too often! The story offers a fascinating insight into the tricky issues of homelessness and mental health. The story is written from the perspective of all 3 main characters over 5 parts, which provides a brilliant 3D story. I highly recommend this novel, which has left me wondering about a few things! ~ Alison Clarke, Amazon

This is an excellent book and the sort you don't want to start too late in the evening as you will want to continue reading and not go to bed. There are no spoilers in this review which makes it difficult as there are so many tortuous twists and turns. A fatal road accident has the soul of a dead man (Joe) entering a nearby homeless man (Dan). Dan then tries to befriend the dead man's widow with Joe in his head telling him what to do. It is an intriguing premise and it is beautifully executed. The book keeps you guessing and Mr Cooper is a strong enough writer luckily to keep all the characters clear and distinct. The point of view changes but because each person has a unique voice, you always know who is speaking - even Natalie can tell the difference between Dan and Joe because of their accents. The narrative is complicated and satisfying and there is much to admire and enjoy in this story. Even if you find yourself disliking any of the folks, you still want to know how it ends. My feelings vacillated throughout the story and I found the whole book entertaining and moving and I was glad I had read it. The ending is suited to the plot and leaves you satisfied. Recommended if you like mysteries with twists and well-drawn characters. ~ Anne Maguire , GoodReads

I was gripped by Nigel Jay Cooper’s first book but I have to say this one is even better. The plot twists were beautifully crafted & I had no idea which way the book was heading. As a Brighton resident I enjoyed the familiar settings and can definitely picture this as a film/TV show. Especially with the changing narratives of each of the characters. It was great to see some of the names from Beat The Rain tie in to the story as well. Except Imogen - boo hiss to her :D The subject of mental health issues was sensitively handled and I found this to be a hopeful and life-affirming book, completely contrary to what I had been expecting! 5 Stars. ~ Emma Dallos, Amazon

An engaging book I couldn't put down. Difficult subjects are handled very sensitively and with real understanding and warmth. I loved the way the story is anchored so firmly in its Brighton location, with affectionate nods to Nigel Jay Cooper's previous novel Beat the Rain. Hurry up and write more! ~ NKM, Amazon

This is an intriguing book. Can the spirit of one person transfer and live on in another? The premise seems ridiculous. The main characters first come in to view at the scene of a fatal road accident where this appears to have happened and then their fates are entwined forever. Initially, the story was not convincing to me as a reader and I almost put it aside but as the plot progressed I found myself engaging with it more. The dialogue between Dan and Joe and the interactions with Natalie are well-written and clever. As we see two damaged and vulnerable characters attempt to change their lives, we gain an insight into how ordinary people deal what befalls them... An emotional and ultimately positive read. ~ Linda Parry, NetGalley

Such a pleasure to read a story so unique and compelling. It is written so beautifully, with the characters coming to life with each page. I've never read a book like this and loved the sensitive handling of such a complex condition..Simply Superb! ~ Samantha M, NetGalley

Beautifully written book. Very well written characters. Very different to anything I have read before. Highly recommended. ~ Jodi H, NetGalley

Another incredibly addictive book from Nigel Jay Cooper. I loved Beat the Rain and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Pursuit of Ordinary and it didn’t disappoint. A fantastic story, well written and thought-provoking. An easy read that you won’t want to put down. Already looking forward to the next one :) ~ Jo Harrington, Amazon Customer Review

I loved Nigel Jay Cooper's debut novel Beat the Rain, and was so looking forward to reading this - and I wasn't disappointed. Such an unusual premise but thoroughly gripping throughout. Nigel's characterisation is second to none, making the reader feel as if they know the main players personally. One of this author's best qualities is to write with genuine understanding of the topics the book covers, including grief and mental illness. A poignant story which made me think about the characters long after I'd finished the book. Highly recommended. ~ Ange, Goodreads

What a brilliant book this is, and I'm also really happy that I've discovered an author who is new to me. I can honestly say this is probably one of the most interesting books I've read in a long time. The story line is original and really draws you in right from the start. Having worked with countless homeless people over the years, I can honestly say that Nigel Cooper writes about homelessness and mental health in a realistic, sensitive and honest way. I'm not going to elaborate on the story as many other reviews have already done so - some too much in my opinion. All I can say is please read this book and you won't be disappointed. ~ Philippa McKenna, Amazon

The Pursuit of Ordinary was an exceptional read that is unique and faces a lot of modern cultural and societal issues head on. It’s a compelling drama novel that explores the fragility and unpredictable nature of the human psyche. I was amazed by the potency of the narrative that NJC has crafted here and the enormous twists and turns that accompany such a bold and daring plot. When I started reading the novel I couldn’t see how NJC could pull off the narrative style he was aiming for but I have to applaud him for proving me wrong… As the story unfolds and takes many harsh turns we begin to see a vivid picture of truth and it was brilliant to experience. It is definitely a ‘hats off’ moment to NJC for successfully developing a narrative that is partly told from the perspective of a freshly split personality. Dan has a complex history of mental health issues including Depersonalisation Disorder which is included effectively and the novel shines a bright light on the condition. NJC’s writing was the stand out feature of this novel. His character development, juggling 3 perspectives in 2 bodies was superb. He easily captures the frustration, adaptation and disorientation of broken minds. The story is told in a sort of overlapping episodic style where we see both sides of what is happening. There was plenty of ‘Nooos!’, ‘Whaaaaats?’ and ‘Bloody Hells!’ from me. I know I make this sound kind of heavy but it flows really well and there are charming, loving and amusing moments to be had on top of everything else. It reminded me about the critical value of viewing everyone around us as the individuals they are with their own lives, problems and directions. It is easy to judge or assume but it more beneficial to stop and listen, to help, to learn and to participate. I can’t recommend The Pursuit Of Ordinary enough to all readers as it is a vital read that aims to break some of the misconceptions/reflexes we have stored in the back of our minds. Pick up The Pursuit Of Ordinary and put yourself in Dan and Natalie’s shoes. 5 stars. To read the full blog review, visit https://alwaystrustinbooks.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/the-pursuit-of-ordinary-by-nigel-jay-cooper-review-jhpfiction-nijay-blogtour-review-extraordinary-5stars/ ~ Book Blogger, Always Trust In Books

This is a beautifully crafted surprise of a book. The storyline is actually very simple, dealing primarily with human relationships and emotion. The writer manages to explore bereavement, grief, love and anger, whilst also including domestic abuse, family conflict, manipulation, miscommunication and mental illness. The growing relationship between Natalie and Dan is fascinating as they learn to trust each other and themselves. They are flawed characters and yet the way that they change and grow made me alter my opinions of them along the way. Mr Cooper has written these characters with such compassion and tenderness that it is impossible not to care for them. I felt that this care was also shown toward the secondary characters – Dan’s father, Natalie’s parents and even Joe’s mother. This book is not what it seems to be at the outset. But then the title should give us a clue, as what is the definition of “Ordinary” – it will be different for all of us. In the current climate it is wonderful to read a novel that has such a positive and empathetic insight into mental health and mental illness. There are surprises for both the reader and the characters as to who has the greater needs and the importance to have insight into one’s own situation. Whilst the story is simple and focuses on these two, or maybe it is three people, there are many twists and turns that will pull you in and certainly had me hooked. I found this an intense and emotional read from start to finish and would describe The Pursuit of Ordinary to be absolutely extraordinary. ~ Clare Saul, Goodreads

A cerebral, jarring, zigging zagging chest-crusher. The author coaxes you along chapter by chapter as your dread thickens, shining pinprick rays of hope that the characters might come out all right in the end. The Pursuit of Ordinary is a delightful work of blindingly original contemporary fiction. Mental illness and psychological abuse are central elements to the story, handled deftly and mercilessly but not without compassion. There’s nothing cute about broken people trying to heal themselves and Nigel Jay Cooper doesn’t for an instant pretend there is. Every page of The Pursuit of Ordinary encourages the reader not only to hang tight to their seats while they chase down the next plot twist and the next and the next, but to get really really real about their beliefs and opinions concerning the mentally ill and victims of abuse. In cognitive behavioral therapy we’re taught that everyone—with no exceptions—makes the best decision they can, from where they’re at, with the information they have at the time: even when that choice is mad, or cruel, or selfish, there is room for understanding, mercy, and forgiveness (particularly towards the self) from that point of view. As you read Mr. Cooper’s book, watch how your understanding and perspective expand. I guarantee they will. ~ Host I, NetGalley

This book just seeps into the mind and causes havoc as you try and work out what it fact and what is fiction. Loved the story line. It's clever, original and powerful. So many important issues that affect today's society is explored throughout the novel whilst still making a high enjoyable book. There was parts that were highly moving. Nigel has taken all these important issues (homelessness, abuse, mental health) and packed it into a simply brilliant story. It's been a long time since a book has had an impact on me like this one! Just brilliant. ~ Laurel, Amazon

Words cannot express how amazing this book is. Touching, moving, thought provoking and downright different, "The Pursuit of Ordinary" tells the story of Dan, who believes that he is possessed by the spirit of Natalie's dead husband, Joe, after witnessing the road accident that kills him. But with Dan's history of mental health, is everything really as it seems? Honestly, if I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. I am so grateful to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC copy, because my honest opinion is that this is seriously one of the best books I've ever read. As Dan and Natalie navigate the strange circumstances that brought them together, we learn more about the secrets of both their pasts and the problems they both have to deal with in order to become 'ordinary.' You seriously need to go out and get yourself a copy of this book. You'll be so glad you did. ~ Sophie C, NetGalley

5 stars. The story gets going right away with twists from the beginning and they continue until the end. Though the events are not presented chronologically, Cooper masterfully structures the book and this adds to the story. There are so many elements, such as family, love and mental health. What is mental illness verses simply finding unconventional ways to cope? What is love versus control? Cooper slowly exposes each of these three characters, and we gradually discover the unsettling present and past of each of them. I recommend The Pursuit of Ordinary to those who want to read anything but the ordinary. The complete review will be posted on www.underratedreads.com on the release date of Apr 27. ~ Jacqueline J, NetGalley

The Pursuit of Ordinary is one the most beautifully written books I have ever read, it’s charming, enthralling, thoughtful and delightful but also sad and enlightening. Nat has been married to Joe for a few years; they are in their early thirties having met at University when Joe dies in a car accident in Brighton where they live. Homeless Joe witnesses the car accident and as his eyes meet Nat’s in Joe’s final minutes he finds himself apparently possessed by Joe. It is a credit to Nigel Jay Cooper that this situation seems perfectly plausible as Dan and Joe argue and discuss in Dan’s head. Dan tracks down Nat and the book tells the story alternately from Dan/Joe and Nat’s viewpoints. Hearing both sides of the story is where this book is so skilful - the story is intriguing and in its own way enthralling too. Dan has been mentally ill and Joe’s voice could be a sign of this - so why does Nat let him into her home and trust him so quickly? All three characters are sympathetically portrayed and this is a story of love, hope, loneliness, mental illness and family. I absolutely loved it from first to last page and can not recommend it highly enough - read it!!!! ~ Karen Peterman, Goodreads

This is lip-smackingly good! And what a refreshing change...Invigoratingly different, not one abducted child/psycho ex/tortured sleuth or crazed killer in sight, - bliss! And yet, had someone described the plot of this story to me, I'd have thought 'hmmm sounds rather bizarre'?... So please, I implore you, read it for yourself because even the dulcet tones of Lyndsay Duncan describing it, let alone a big fat bunch of five star reviews (which it's sure to get) could not do this book justice. It is riveting. Yes okay a dead person inhabiting a stranger who watched him die in his wife's arms could, I grant you, sound a tad bizarre, but it is sublimely clever! The three main characters: the wife, the dead husband, and the homeless stranger (promise you there was no mention of a cook or thief), each voice their version of events throughout, and so there is repetition, but for me, this simply hightened the intensity to the point of me feeling at times as though the characters had somehow seeped into my head, almost making me an accomplice?! Goodness knows there's enough room in there. Simply brilliant! I can even forgive the amazing author for the effect page 153 had on my Emetophobia! Mr Cooper I salute you and will most certainly be ordering Beat The Rain as soon as this story has vacated my head! ~ Barbara Beswick, Goodreads

This book is a very long way from ordinary. Brilliantly different concept with great writing throughout. I loved the twists and turns of the plot and found it very hard to put down. 5 Stars. ~ Cath B, NetGalley

Book reviewers are a conservative, brow wrinkling lot and very rarely spew forth superlatives such as brilliant or exceptional when referring to a work by a relatively new author. Nigel Jay Cooper deserves better. Initially I thought this read would be a bit of a chuckle, you know, guy gets hit by a car, his consciousness flies into a derelict guy who happens by; a bit comedic really. Not so. What evolves is a cerebral, closely woven tragedy of use and misuse, of premeditated deception, the conflicting needs of the two (or is it three) main protagonists and the eventual resignation to a co-existence with faults and flaws in tact. For me it was a page turner, an exhausting yet rewarding glimpse into the dark realms of the self. Thanks to NetGalley and Roundfire Books for the privilege of reviewing this work. 5 Stars. ~ Brian Jeffery, NetGalley

Elequently written and beautifully paints images in the mind. The Pursuit of Ordinary is set to be one of the best books of 2018 ~ Lisa Doherty, NetGalley

A very simple cover that encases a wonderful book ... one cannot judge THIS book by its dust jacket for sure. If you loved Before I Go to Sleep or The Girl on the Train, this book is right up your alley and full of twists and shocking turns. Wonderfully written, it kept me guessing right until the end when I found myself saddened that the book was over. READ THIS BOOK!!! MAKE YOUR BOOKCLUB READ THIS BOOK!!! ... You won't be sorry. 5 stars. ~ Janet C, Netgalley

Beautifully crafted and so very unusual. My first impressions of the book as a kind of ghost story were quickly dispelled and I was kept guessing where the story would go. A love story with mental health issues and death at its core, it was thought provoking and deliciously intriguing. Highly recommended. ~ Maureen M, NetGalley

The Pursuit of Ordinary. Ordinary? I don't think so. This book, like Coopers debut novel, Beat the Rain, (which I loved) is extraordinary. His well and sensitively drawn characters engage the reader from the onset. The originality of the plot line with its tantalising twists and turns and the way the narrative unfolds from the seemingly similar, but differing points of view of the three principle characters, has the reader hooked wanting to know if these damaged souls will succeed in their pursuit of becoming ordinary. With many thanks to John Hunt Publishing and Round Fire Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. ~ V Williams, NetGalley

Nigel Jay Cooper has given us another great novel! This was an intriguing story from page one. Natalie is dealing with the unexpected loss of her husband when a homeless man claims to be possessed by the dead mans spirit. What happens in the next 300 pages was completely unexpected and interesting. I wanted to know more about each character and it was deliciously delivered with a perfect pace. The characters are well developed and multi dimensional. The author paints a vivid picture of the situation and it felt like I was watching a movie instead of turning pages in a book. It was an engaging look at mental illness, love and relationships. I can't wait for another novel by this fantastic author. ~ Becky N., NetGalley

Where to start about this lovely book? First of all, I've been a fan of Nigel Cooper after reading his debut novel, Beat the Rain which I absolutely loved! Dare I say this one is even better? The plot is so incredibly unique and yet all parts of it work to create a beautiful and heartfelt story that weaves in social commentary without becoming preachy. When Natalie's husband, Joe dies in her arms after a horrific car accident, his spirit enters Dan, a homeless man standing nearby. But how can Dan convince Natalie that he's not a fraud and her dead husband can live on through his memories? Why on earth would she believe him? Shockingly, she appears to as Joe speaks to her with his own accent and relates the lovely and sentimental details of their first date. But there's a discrepancy between appearance and reality. What secrets are they both keeping and why? With marvelously flawed characters and poignant, lovely writing, Cooper speaks to the themes of passion, guilt, redemption, depression, mental illness, and homelessness. And for fans of Beat the Rain, he brings in a cross-over character, Louise which is a treat for those of us who loved that novel. The book will make you laugh and make you cry as the storyline is slowly revealed in voices of Joe, Dan, and Natalie. It will also keep you guessing until the very end; quite simply put, it is superb! ~ Anne F (Educator), NetGalley

This is Nigel Jay Cooper's sophomore novel and he does not disappoint. Last year, I got the chance to read an early copy of The Pursuit of Ordinary. I was thrilled for the opportunity, of course, and quickly jumped to it. This is a captivating Contemporary Fiction novel. It's powerful, plausible, and sound. I think one of Nigel's biggest qualities as an author is his ability to write about the common fellow and see beyond the surface. His characters are real people, just like any of us. His talent is presenting these people as whole individuals. Neither good or bad. He leaves the judgment to us. In The Pursuit of Ordinary, he explores the themes of grief, mental health, and love. How far are we willing to go to avoid the pain? What risks will we take? The storyline is compelling and exciting. His narrative beautifully flows and it unfolds chapter by chapter with the right amount of twists and turns. We meet two people struggling with their circumstances. Their lives collide in an unusual way and we become witnesses to their story. I quickly dived into the story and became invested in their universe. There are pain and grief between the pages, but also tenderness and understanding. As someone who works in the mental health field, I thoroughly appreciated how Nigel presented the subject with dignity and respect. It's refreshing to find a story where a person can struggle with mental health but still be worthy of self-agency and love. We need more books like this! ~ Michelle Downs, Goodreads

The Pursuit of Ordinary is an extraordinary novel. I had to sit back and think about what I thought about the book once I’d finished it. It is a compelling read with complex, emotional, needy, selfish and challenged characters. My views towards the characters changed dramatically as the story unfolded and their true characters and agendas were laid bare, nothing was as it first seemed. A gripping and intense read - don’t expect to put it down until you’ve turned the last page, even then you’ll still be trying to decide if the characters were truly justified in their actions! I was given an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ~ Clare Seel, Goodreads

Another brilliant book from Nigel Jay Cooper - one you won’t forget- for good reasons. Joe was involved in a car accident whilst walking with his wife, but he sees the scene and is able to walk away. He sees his wife cradling a man who is obviously dead. Little by little he realises he is in another man’s body-Dan. Dan is homeless and has issues. Slowly Joe talks to Dan and gets him to pass a note to Joe’s wife. What transpires is rather unusual to say the least. This is a wonderfully creative story with all the depth of character that Nigel writes with ease. A tale of the unexpected, a tale of hope and despair and life. Of smiles, and tears , ups and downs. Friends, lovers and relations. A brilliant concept,beautifully written and a highly enjoyable read. I voluntarily chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. ~ Nicki Murphy (Book Blogger), Goodreads

Relatable, accurate, thrilling and so beautifully written. I am bereft now that it has come to an end. A must read for a true insight into the different shades of mental illness and all that surrounds it. 5 stars. ~ Tam, Amazon

Always a rollercoaster read with this author, brilliantly written, draws you in, makes you hold your breath at times. Love this style and am looking forward to the 3rd novel! 5 Stars. ~ Carol Morrin, Amazon

I wasn't sure what to expect but this was seriously well written - thought provoking, warm and sensitive. Five stars. ~ Mrs L H MacDonald, Goodreads

I loved this book, not least because Nigel so cleverly entwined the characters from his previous novel into an entirely different story. It was refreshing to have the luxury of a glimpse into the lives of the characters from Beat the Rain without the story being about them. The pursuit of Ordinary was no comparison to Nigel's previous novel. He clearly has the imagination to write completely different fiction. The characters in this novel are complicated and their development was genius - written in a way which made it impossible to guess the end. I'm looking forward to the next novel from Nigel Cooper. 5 Stars. ~ Emily Layton, Goodreads

This is a great read totally addictive from the first page, amazing characters that keep you intrigued from the minute you meet them. Nigel Jay Cooper is a real talent and his second novel is a must read. Highly recommended. ~ Esther Simpson, Goodreads

This book had great pace and was very insightful into how life's challenges can throw even the most resilient off track (or not!) It is both hilarious in parts and deeply moving in others. Nigel Cooper has an amazing ability to unpick complex emotions in people and addresses it in a insightful and riveting way. 5 Stars. ~ Sian Bath, Amazon

I really enjoyed this book and thought that the characters were well enough drawn to identify with them and care what happened to them! The complexities of the story made me think about Dan, Natalie and Joe at odd times of the day. Love the twist at the end too! 5 stars. ~ Deborah L, NetGalley

Having read reviews on this book I thought I would enjoy it and I did. Without reiterating the whole story, the two main characters appear to be poles apart in every aspect of their life. However having been “thrown” together under unusual circumstances, it is a the story of their journey, separately and together. The story is basically one of mental health and several branches of it and self doubt and blame. The story jumps around and sometimes takes some concentration to understand where the characters are but it is brilliant! I would recommend everyone reads this book to get more of an insight into mental health problems. ~ Karen Farrow, Amazon

The story gripped me right from the beginning. The debate between the supernatural and mental health issues was well played out through the multidimensional characters. Can hope come from a tragedy? Is it real or an illusion? I found the story extremely emotional at times. Death and grief are one of the greatest challenges we experience as a human being. This and the hope, false or real, makes us very vulnerable. This is so well depicted in this book. It was sometimes difficult for me to read as it was an anniversary of a terrible loss for me, but I did find cathartic to follow the story to its conclusion. ~ Sue Ross, Goodreads

A thought provoking compelling novel. Natalie is dealing with the loss of her husband after an accident when a homeless man, an eye witness, approaches her saying he possesses Joe’s spirit. The story plays out before, during, and after the accident with love entwining itself into the fold. The Pursuit of Ordinary delves deep into the process of becoming an ordinary being again after suffering devastating grief and trauma. A spectacular book! ~ Tammy, Goodreads

A five star read. I had very high expectations of this after reading nigel coopers beat the rain. This book did not disappoint. A fabulous read and would highly recommend both books. ~ Parvina Rani, Amazon

I read and enjoyed Nigel’s debut novel last year so when I saw the second book doing the rounds I had to jump to read it. The plot really intrigued me and I was a little worried as to how Nigel would pull it off, would it be believable? Well, in short, yes! It was just brilliant! Joe has been hit by a car, he’s being held in his wife, Natalie’s arms and Dan, a homeless man witnessed it. Dan seems to be possessed by the spirit of Joe and he goes to find Natalie. Would you believe it? Natalie seems to and we embark on a journey surrounding these characters. What I loved about this book is the characters are not perfect, they are all flawed and have their secrets. This made them seem more real and I think in that respect made the plot seem more believable, if that makes sense?! Nigel has a wonderful way with words and I quickly got sucked into the lives of these damaged characters. Nigel explores some very significant themes in this book, grief, mental health and love/relationships which he has written very sympathetically. You can tell the amount of care that has gone into this book. I will admit I struggled to like the characters, however I still enjoyed the book. Even though I didn’t like them they were well-written and had a lot of depth to them. Nigel’s writing was the stand-out for me, if this book had been written by anyone else I don’t think I would have enjoyed it. He really does suck you in and keeps his hold on you until you’ve read every last word. This book is one to be read slowly, no distractions and let Nigel take you on this incredible journey. I feel I could re-read it again and probably enjoy it more the second time around. This would make a brilliant book club read, there could be some interesting discussions to come out of this book. I look forward to Nigel’s next book! ~ Katie Jones, Katie’s Book Cave (Book Blog)

What an intriguing story-line. Dan is a homeless man who witnesses a fatal car accident, he watches as Natalie cradles the head of her dying husband and then disappears! Dan then pops up claiming to be possessed by her dead husbands spirit - what will Natalie do? How will she discover the truth behind the claims? An un-put-a-down-able read that keeps you at the edge of your seat and involved with the twists and turns at every page. ~ Gillian Mechan, Amazon

What a read...beautifully written. Grabbed me from page one. Would recommend this book totally. 5 stars. ~ Francis Oatley, Amazon

Such an interesting idea for a story. After a tragic incident, Dan turns up at Natalie’s door, claiming to be her husband in a different body. I was totally sucked in and thought I was going to be reading a supernatural tale, but the story took an unexpected twist. This is a thoughtful story about an issue which can all too often be avoided. I enjoyed learning about Daniel’s character which developed well through the story. The sense of realism was maintained well-once you realised what was going on! No spoilers here. This is a story which will linger and make you think. Enjoy! ~ Muriss68, Amazon

Wow, This book blew me away. Initially I wasn't sure I would take to the strong content on how mental illness can affect a person but I was completely surprised at how Dan, Joe and Natalie's story grabbed me. He book is written beautifully and deals with mental illness in a calm and compassionate way. A thoroughly great read. ~ DH, Amazon

I read and enjoyed Nigel’s debut novel last year so when I saw the second book doing the rounds I had to jump to read it. The plot really intrigued me and I was a little worried as to how Nigel would pull it off, would it be believable? Well, in short, yes! It was just brilliant! What I loved about this book is the characters are not perfect, they are all flawed and have their secrets. This made them seem more real. Nigel has a wonderful way with words and I quickly got sucked into the lives of these damaged characters. This book is one to be read slowly, no distractions and let Nigel take you on this incredible journey. I feel I could re-read it again and probably enjoy it more the second time around. This would make a brilliant book club read, there could be some interesting discussions to come out of this book. I look forward to Nigel’s next book! ~ Katie's Book Cave, Book Blogger

“With me inside him, he didn’t feel dislocated like he used to. It was like he was back in tune with the world, experiencing real, solid emotions for the first time in years.” Joe was walking across the street when he was suddenly hit by a car. Many witnessed this tragic accident including his wife Natalie and Dan, a homeless man. Unfortunately Joe, who was in his thirties, didn’t survive. Or did he in some strange way? Dan believes that Joe’s consciousness is trapped inside his own body. “Maybe only someone like Dan, detached as he was, could have accommodated Joe’s spirit.” Dan finds his way to Joe’s old house to speak with Natalie. What happens next is a whirlwind of events. I don’t want to say too much about these events or the plot for that matter, as it will give too much away. It will be nice if the reader experiences the book the way I did without any expectations as to the storyline. All I needed to know was that Nigel Jay Cooper –author of Beat the Rain—wrote the book, and I was on board. Cooper had a lot to live up to, and this book doesn’t disappoint. The story gets going right away with twists from the beginning and they continue until the end. Though the events are not presented chronologically, Cooper masterfully structures the book in a way that adds to the story. There are so many elements, such as family, love and mental health. What is mental illness verses simply finding unconventional ways to cope? What is love versus control? “In Natalie’s experience, love is anything but innocent. It’s a captor, a guard, imprisoning you in the clutches of another, knitting the fabric of your own life to somebody else’s, whether you like it or not.” Then there are the lies… “But that’s the thing about lies, once they’re out in the world, they develop a life of their own. They keep on growing spiraling and turning. Thorny vines, wrapping themselves around everything good, strangling the life from the most innocent of victims.” Finally, we question the view of “normal”. Maybe all that anyone wants is to be “ordinary”. As you can tell from the quotes, Cooper slowly exposes each of these three characters, and we gradually discover the unsettling present and past of each of them. I recommend The Pursuit of Ordinary to those who want to read anything but the ordinary. ~ J D Jung, Underrated Reads

Nigel Jay Cooper's sophomore novel The Pursuit of Ordinary is an extraordinary (sorry ;)) work of fiction conveying a unique story about an atypical relationship (or more a relationship triangle?). Dan, a homeless man, witnessed a car accident that killed Joe, Natalie's husband. Now Dan can't forget seeing Natalie cradle her dying husband, and there is this new voice in Dan's head. Natalie's dead husband, Joe? Dan has to get in touch with Natalie. In this character-driven tale Nigel Jay Cooper explores pertinent topics relating to mental health, such as grief and loss, homelessness, relationships and abuse. This author has a genuine talent for creating characters that feel like real people who could be living next door to you. They may not necessarily be characters you particularly like or whose actions you always understand and support, but they feel completely authentic. The dialogue is believable and the plot emotional; sometimes sad but also very funny in parts. It contained some good twists and turns that kept me turning the pages anxiously. The story is told from three (or perhaps two?) perspectives and my main reason for deducting a star is the slightly repetitive nature of some of the chapters, where we hear Dan's perspective and then are told the same scenario again but from Natalie's point of view. Obviously there are differences in the way Dan and Natalie view their subjective reality, and I understand the different perspectives were required to show that, but it was frustrating reading at times. I felt this book was way more positive than last year's debut Beat the Rain which floored me and left me shattered by the end of it. This was a lovely, heartfelt story that tackles difficult subjects with sensitivity and without being preachy, and it all leads to a very satisfactory ending. After two very special books, Nigel Jay Cooper is a must-read author for me. ~ Petra A, Goodreads

From the beginning to the very end, this book will grip you tightly and you'll hang on for dear life. It’s beautifully written! It’s a different concept! It works on all levels! 5 stars. ~ Leah O, NetGalley

I was a fan of Nigel's debut work, Beat the Rain, and this book was just as compelling - 4.5 stars and highly recommended. Dan, a homeless man, witnesses a car crash where a man is killed. He watches as the man's wife screams and cradles his body. He exchanges looks with the man's wife and then later can't get them out of his mind. He soon believes he is possessed by the dead man (Joe) and is compelled to find the wife (Natalie). When he does, she easily lets him into her home and her life. So is he possessed? Why would Natalie do this? This may seem like a farfetched premise that you wouldn't want to read about but you need to read this book. There are so many issues addressed here but especially the one of mental illness. How do we perceive others with mental illness and how do they perceive themselves? Bravo to Cooper for exploring these themes with dignity and respect. Many thanks to NetGalley, Roundfire Books, and Nigel Jay Cooper for the opportunity to read his new novel. ~ Sharon M, NetGalley

This book really surprised me. At first, I didn't know what to make of it but as the story unfolded I was really hooked. I enjoyed the characters even the controlling Joe! But Dan won my heart. This book really handled mental health in a warm understanding way. 5 Stars. ~ Mary Bradford, Goodreads

This isn’t something I normally would have read, purely because It wouldn’t have been on my usual shelf choices, that being said the blurb immediately intrigued me. A homeless man witnesses an accident, and the woman cradling her husband as he dies. Is he really possessed by her husband? I have to say the full blurb sounded so very different, and on the storyline front I was far from disappointed! At times uplifting, and others sad, the book has had me constantly wondering what will happen. A modern take on very old considerations and Theories of “life after death”, I love what the Author has done here, and would definitely read more by him. The characters aren’t perfect, and I enjoyed that the book gives each persons perspectives. There are times this becomes a bit confusing between past/present/future but overall I really enjoyed this book. Very unlike anything else I have read, and had me laughing at various moments. Well worth picking up, even if not your usual read! ~ Cassandra Emerson, Goodreads

When Joe dies in his wife's arms, his spirit enters Dan, a homeless man, who witnessed the accident. How will Dan convince Natalie that he is not a fraud. We are told the same story from different perspectives and by doing this we get told something new. I found this book quite an emotional read and quickly bonded with the characters. This book is well written, with parts uplifting and other parts sad. I recommend this emotional book. ~ Louise Wilson, GoodReads

This is a complex tale and the people we meet, Natalie and Dan, are multi-layered. As are we all really, but Cooper's talent is to keep on mining below the surface and then again below there. And then there's Joe, the most mysterious character and absolutely key to Natalie and Dan's relationship, but also the least compelling as he lacks, well, pretty much everything. This is a hugely enjoyable book but not one to read lightly. I had some major distractions whilst reading this story and found it very difficult to pick up again after setting it down.But it does deserve the continuous attention it demands. 'The Pursuit of Ordinary could be described as a literary novel in terms of its philosophical stance but that might put off some readers unnecessarily. So, the characters are not very straight-forward, the plot is complex, the timeline can be confusing. But don't be put off because the places, the motivations and the dialogue are really down to earth. And all the threads weave into a very satisfactory ending. 5 stars. ~ Ursula Rutherford, Goodreads

What an intriguing story-line. Dan is a homeless man who witnesses a fatal car accident, he watches as Natalie cradles the head of her dying husband and then disappears! Dan then pops up claiming to be possessed by her dead husband's spirit - what will Natalie do? how will she discover the truth behind the claims? An un-put-a-down-able read that keeps you at the edge of your seat and involved with the twists and turns at every page. 5 stars. ~ Gillian M, NetGalley

This was a fascinating story which gave a real insight into mental health and how things aren't always as they seem! Thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to all. ~ Jess Richardson, NetGalley

A book which you want to read in one sitting with numerous twists and turns. A totally different style of writing. Excellent. ~ Denise C, NetGalley

It is difficult for me to write about this book without any spoilers, but I will try as I think the twists are part of the fun. It's the story of Daniel, whose body involuntarily plays host to the mind of Joe, a man he saw dying in a car crash in Western Road, Brighton. Dan is homeless and in bad shape, so it's rather surprising that Natalie, Joe's widow, allows him in when Dan rings her bell and starts explaining to her what brought him to her doorstep. I soon started to realize what the story behind the story might be, but this did not prevent me from enjoying the book. I found the inner dialogues between Dan and Joe quite fascinating, and I admired the way the author enabled me to understand what is going on with just the right number of hints. The Pursuit of Ordinary is the portrayal of two people whose lives have left ordinary paths, and it gives you an idea of how and why this has happened. In spite of their deficiencies, you cannot help hoping it will work out for them in the end. The author tells the story alternating between Joe's and Natalie's point of view, and in particular Joe's narrative provides a lot of suspense. I would like to recommend the book as reading material for students of English starting from level B2 (intermediate/advances). ~ Gabriela S (Educator), NetGalley

One word for this book... brilliant. A must read! 5 Stars. ~ Joanna Gibson, NetGalley

I am not sure what drew me to this book as it is not my usual genre. But I've been right to trust my instincts before so I did so again and, once again, I was rewarded with a really good read. It's a little out of the ordinary, as were the previous couple of books I have read by the same publisher, but hey, different is often good, as it was again in this case...The characterisation was, for me, excellent. It is hard to write wounded characters well so they appear credible...The author here nails this very well. And he also does so with great sensitivity given some of the subject matter. I'd really love to give examples of this here but I fear it would contain spoilers so you'll just have to trust me on that. I will just say that the way that the characters develop through the book, as more of their real selves are exposed, was really something quite special. It was also quite an emotional read, probably because I believed in the characters and was willing to invest in them. But as much as it was, at times, on the sad side, there was always hope bubbling under and there were several really uplifting and indeed moving scenes which made the book as a whole very balanced. I've not read this author's first book Beat the Rain, but on the back of reading this, I will definitely be adding that to my TBR. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. 5 Stars. ~ Kath B, NetGalley

My go to genre is crime and psychological thrillers, but this book looked too good to miss. And it was. It tells the story of Dan, a homeless man who comes across Natalie at the moment her husband Joe is killed when a car hits him. Dan can't get Natalie out of his mind and goes in search of her, but he is also hearing another voice in his head. Dan is obviously damaged, which immediately makes him interesting, and Natalie has her own demons. I don't even know where to start with Joe! The same episodes in the story are told from different perspectives which could easily have led to lazy storytelling, but it doesn't, because there is always something new. I loved that the story is set in Brighton as it's a place I know. I love that it name checks one of my favourite books (you'll need to read it to see!). And I really love that it sensitively deals with some difficult issues - mental health and emotional abuse. This is a book about loss, hope, trust and ultimately love. But I doubt it's like any love story you've read - it's highly original, brilliantly written and definitely worth a read. And it has a really cool cover! 5 stars. ~ Suze Bickerton, Goodreads

Sometimes it feels like there are no original ideas out there for books and I am reading the same basic story over and over. However, The Pursuit of Ordinary by Nigel Jay Cooper is a book that defies categorization. It's a love story - sort of. It also has some mysterious elements, but it's not really a mystery in the classic sense. It's a meditation on psychology and the self. It's a story of redemption. It's a story of survival. It's a story of mental illness. It's a lot rolled into one book and I really enjoyed reading it. We follow Natalie, Joe, and Dan on a journey that takes us in surprising directions, has unexpected reveals, and definitely got me thinking. I found that while I liked the characters, I couldn't always understand their choices. But that is part of what made this fascinating, the exploration of how our minds work and why people make the choices that they do. There is a plot here, but it is primarily a character study, and a very unique one that defies genre. I think Nigel Jay Cooper is only getting better in his writing; I look forward to his third book! ~ Book Girl On Goodreads, NetGalley

What an emotional read this was. Nigel's portrayal of the characters, and his analysis of homelessness and mental health issues is compelling and at the same time caring. The book keeps you guessing from start to finish and you cannot help but feel for the characters, get involved in their lives as their relationships unfold. They could be one of your friends or the couple next door. This is one of those books you can not put down. Another amazing book, very well done. ~ Sara Marin, Goodreads

Excellent story line and great main characters. I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend. ~ Stephanie C, NetGalley

As with Nigel's debut Beat The Rain, this was beautifully written and very clever... just when I thought I knew what was what, the rug was pulled from under me. This novel was 'human' - it has a real heart. It raises so many issues and somehow made me think differently about them, whether that was relationships and love or homelessness and mental health... Challenging things happen to both main characters but it also has a gentler side than Beat The Rain, in my opinion. A great read. I was given an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. The Pursuit of Ordinary is out in April 2018. ~ Andrew Seel, Goodreads

This book is original and thought provoking, it is essentially a love story and is beautifully written with believable characters. I love reading books set in Brighton, and I loved Nigels first book 'Beat the Rain' - very clever how Nigel subtly linked the two. I thoroughly recommend you read this wonderful and intriguing story - especially if you liked 'Beat the Rain'. The book will be published in April 2018. I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. ~ Kate Rogers, Goodreads

Beautifully written book that pulls you in from the start. What particularly stood out for me is how well crafted it is - The Pursuit of Ordinary is a wonderful piece of modern fiction.Thought provoking from start to end, the characters and narrative are compelling with twists I didn’t expect. And at its core are themes of love and mental health - Nigel Cooper has created characters so tenderly drawn that you ache for them as their story unfolds. Highly recommend this book to both new readers and those who loved his first novel. The book will be published in April 2018. I was given an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review. ~ Caroline Jory, Goodreads

A fantastic read. Thoroughly enjoyed this and it is not something I would usually pick up. Will look for more from this author in future. ~ Daniel S., NetGalley

This book is an incredibly good read, it's been very cleverly written from the perspective of each of the characters, a real page turner of a book. 5 Stars. ~ Linda, Amazon

Loved it, a must for everyone’s list! Original, thought provoking and sensitively written, The Pursuit of Ordinary tackles subjects that are often left untouched in the world of fiction, yet are so prevalent in everyday life. That is not to say that it is a dark read, quite the opposite in fact, with an element of subtle humour woven in. Despite covering themes including mental health and homelessness, following the journeys of the two main characters makes for an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable read. This is an intriguing book which maintains a good pace and provides unexpected twists along the way. A fantastic follow up novel to Nigel Jay Cooper’s debut, Beat the Rain, I can’t wait to see what’s to come! 5 Stars. ~ Julie, Amazon

An excellent read... it gripped me from the opening paragraph and kept me on the hook while the complexities of the plot unfolded. The characters are well-written and you find yourself drawn into their lives and desperate to see how (or if) it all works out for them. Five stars. ~ Customer, Amazon

When Natalie’s husband Joe is killed in a freak traffic accident, she is cast adrift but before long she is sought out by homeless Dan who she recognises from the accident scene. But the problem is that Dan is insisting that the spirit of Joe has entered his body and has asked him to find her so they can be together again. As a witness to the incident that changed her life forever, Natalie needs to know what Dan saw of that night. The story flicks between the perspective of Natalie, Dan and Joe, and is sometimes told through conversations Joe and Dan have together. A brilliant story of perceptions, all in the pursuit of ordinary. ~ Fiona Moreira, Goodreads

This book really surprised me. At first, I didn't know what to make of it but as the story unfolded I was really hooked. I enjoyed the characters even the controlling Joe! But Dan won my heart. This book really handled mental health in a warm understanding way. ~ Mary Bradford, Amazon

There is nothing more pleasurable than finding a book that makes you ache...and he's done it again; thank you Nigel Jay Cooper! I found myself lurching from sadness to frustration, feeling compassionate then angry, and always so very curious to discover where these characters might find themselves. As I walked alongside Dan, Joe and Natalie, being invited inside their minds and intricate interconnected emotions, I found myself really caring about them, as though they were people I knew. I was reminded how easy it is to lose one's sense of reality, especially around death, and how the challenges of mental health are so often overlooked. Our fears, our judgements, our willingness to connect and search for meaning; it's all here. Nigel Jay Cooper has an acuity in portraying the subtlety of psychological disturbance, his characters are multifaceted, and they bring the full gamut to each interaction. Like Beat the Rain, I hated coming to the end. Longing for your next luscious observance of humanity. ~ Sam McCarthy, Amazon

This is truly a fascinating story. The author Nigel Jay Cooper tells it through three main characters with small appearances of minor roles of family. It keeps the story compact and intense dipping back into all of their past lives where there were secrets. I really liked how the bits of information was fed to me. I was at times shocked but loved the sweet and sour sensations that kept changing as my feelings towards the characters. It really is very unpredictable with a super ending. ~ Susan H, NetGalley

This book has a unique focus and addresses some challenging topics sensitively and skilfully. The characters are almost tangible, and as the story progresses it moves on from seemingly (what I later realised was necessary) discombobulating becomes very believable. Apologies if this seems confusing but it's very difficult to write a review for this book without giving away any spoilers! Read it and find out what it is I can't tell you! ~ Denyse K, NetGalley

It is difficult to say much about this book without giving much away [and that would be a shame] but what I can say is it's intriguing, at times moving and also amusing as voices argue within heads... an interesting plot looking at relationships, mental illness and asking the question 'what is real'. The story is told about Joe, Dan and Natalie through different voices, often with bits repeated and seen from different perspectives... I liked how your ideas and views changed as you saw the bigger picture. I read this book quickly and that is always a positive sign ... I'll look out for more by Nigel Jay Cooper. ~ Shona Joselin, Goodreads

A book with a twist... A book where you can relate to each of the characters in turn ...it will change the way you think. 5 Stars. ~ Sandra H, NetGalley

A really interesting and intriguing read...I liked that the book came from each character's perspective so that the whole story slowly emerged through the chapters. Definitely a book club read. ~ Emma G, NetGalley

Twisting, hypnotic trip into mental illness, into the disconnect from ordinary. Chilling. The book will not let the reader go, even after the last word has been read. ~ Mollie G, NetGalley Review

5 stars. We all have the voice in our head that tells us stories. At times to rationalize and other times to justify. But are we as honest as Dan to know the difference? There is life imitating art and mental health imitating life. This novel dares you to see if you are any different from Dan and Natalie. Even Joe. Truly something to reflect on and perhaps have a debate with your voice in your head. ~ Carolyn Kavanagh, Goodreads

This is not what I would consider a 'quick read'. The Pursuit of Ordinary is an insightful and heart wrenching read, with the multiple personalities it requires concentration and most definitely pulled at my heart strings. Each of the characters has their own issues, mental and otherwise. The way in which the book unravels, kept me thinking and guessing. Something which I personally like, I had no idea which way the story was going or how the characters were going to pan out. I enjoyed this book and it has certainly left me thinking, in a good way! It is well written and draws you in as the events continue to unfold. Well worth using your eye balls to take in the pages of this one! :-) ~ Angela Jones-Moore, Goodreads

Not my usual type of book so it took me a while to get into to start with (not the book's fault, just personal preferences). Having said that, I really enjoyed it, the modern take on things. The story is very well written and very believable, I like the characters and felt they connected with the reader well! I’d recommend 100%, and of its not your usual genre stick with it because it’s worth the read. ~ Kate Bromwich, Goodreads

After reading so many thrillers it was nice to read something original. I don't remember reading anything like The Pursuit of Ordinary before. Though I realised what was happening quite early on it didn't take away the enjoyment from the book. ~ Sue F, NetGalley

A strange triangle, Natalie, dead husband Joe and homeless man Dan, with Brighton as a backdrop... This is a complex and intriguing story with its share of flawed characters which certainly kept me gripped! ~ Irene A, NetGalley

A complex story of highly flawed people. I don't know what to say without spoilers. There is a great deal of sadness and regret, but there are equal (greater?) parts hope and redemption. 4 stars. ~ Kamini Mehta, Goodreads

This is a captivating story of a homeless man, who, upon witnessing an accident, appears to have taken on the spirit of the dead man. It's well written and the 3 main characters of Dan, Joe and Natalie are well rounded and interesting...kept my interest throughout. ~ Sharon A, NetGalley

Roundfire Books brings us another homerunner. The Pursuit of Ordinary is an intriguing novel - actually a feel-good novel though it incorporates spousal abuse, grief, mental illness and a touch of romance. The characters are charismatic, the story line tense and the tale well told. I happily recommend it to friends and family. Nigel Jay Cooper is an author to watch out for. ~ Bonnye Reed, NetGalley

The storyline was well presented and easily flowed - and the characters were believable. This was the first book by this author I have read, I will now look forward to reading others. 4 Stars. ~ Penny C, NetGalley

Original and compelling, The Pursuit of Ordinary is perfectly paced and beautifully written. ~ Colette McBeth, author of An Act of Silence

An author with a truly compelling insight into the human condition. ~ Siobhan Kennedy, Channel 4 News

Cooper has a rare knack for presenting flawed characters in a way that makes the reader care about them. ~ Love Reading blog

This novel has a very striking premise which Nigel Cooper executes with great skill. He gets under the skin of his characters and gradually reveals the psychological wheels within wheels of his two main characters Daniel and Natalie. A fascinating read. ~ Jane Lythell, author of The Lie of You

Nigel Jay Cooper has the ability to grip the reader in a fashion I have never before experienced. ~ Lisa Doherty, Book Blogger, Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews

Nigel's works have a knack of grabbing me and pulling me in so that I can't put them down. ~ Nikki Murphy, Book Blogger, Nikki's Book Blog

A new voice. Fresh and different. ~ Maha Diwan, Book Blogger, Mesha’s Corner

Nigel Jay Cooper
Nigel Jay Cooper Writer and author, born in London, England. He now lives in Brighton (via Nottingham) with his partner, their two children and greying ginge...
Beat the Rain by Nigel Jay Cooper

Beat the Rain

Nigel Jay Cooper

A moving and vulnerable depiction of a relationship in decline. At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, it explores what it means to live, to love and to lose.

Birds of the Nile by N.E. David

Birds of the Nile

N.E. David

What ex-diplomat Michael Blake wanted was a quiet birding trip up the Nile – he wasn’t expecting a revolution ...

Burden, The by N.E. David

Burden, The

N.E. David

Frank will do anything to keep his mother and father apart. But he's carrying baggage - and it might just weigh him down ...

Cause, The by Roderick Vincent

Cause, The

Roderick Vincent

The second American Revolution will be a fire lit from an internal spark.

Malaren by N.E. David


N.E. David

Alan Harrison is mourning the death of his wife. A trip to Sweden is in the offing - but will it help him get over it?

American Fork by George B. Handley

American Fork

George B. Handley

A shared love of the Utah landscape heals family wounds for two unlikely friends in this tale of restoration in the wake of loss and betrayal.

Nothing to Confess by Donald Hricik

Nothing to Confess

Donald Hricik

A single donor transmits a fatal disease to multiple organ recipients, triggering lawsuits that question the safety of organ transplantation.

High in the Streets by Matthew Binder

High in the Streets

Matthew Binder

Oh how Lou Brown misses being a poor and miserable failure - he was so free then! This brilliant and hilarious novel is On the Road meets Catcher in the Rye in modern-day Los Angeles.

Gag by Melissa Unger


Melissa Unger

One rainy afternoon in a Brooklyn diner, Peter Howland punctures an egg with his fork. Repulsed, Peter pushes the plate away and never eats again.

Getting Right by Gary D. Wilson

Getting Right

Gary D. Wilson

Connie is dying. She wants her brother to write the story of her life. OK. Sure. Simple enough. Right?