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.


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 ARC Review

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 ARC Review

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 Review

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 Review

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 Review

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

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 Review

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 Review (ARC)

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 Review (ARC)

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

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...

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