RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Miracle of Anna, The
    John Nelson
    Praise for I, Human: 'Absorbing and thought-provoking. Highly recommended' ~ New Dawn Magazine

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Entangled Lives
    Imran Omer
    Set in the Middle East and focused about two unlikely people in the face of great odds, this novel compares to The Kite Runner and Girls of Riyadh.

    https://ronsamulreview.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/entangled-lives.html ~ Rom Samul, Ron Samul Reviews

  • Entangled Lives
    Imran Omer
    This is a well written book with excellent descriptive narrative. It gives an insight into the lives of young Arabs caught up in the conflict and also the culture of their lives. ~ Renee Glass, NetGalley

  • Moby-Dick Blues, The
    Michael Strelow
    The emotional tugs of this powerful novel run from heart breaking to comedic with a great historical punch to boot. ~ Rachel Smart, NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats
    Steven L. Peck
    What if whatever it was Orson F. Whitney once said about Mormon literature was realized, and we could finally claim someone like a Shakespeare or a Milton of our own? And what if that writer was, for the most part, mad—more of a William Blake than a William Wordsworth, more of a James Joyce than a Jane Austen? This is the title character of Steven L. Peck’s Gilda Trillim: Shepherdess of Rats. She is brought to life through Peck’s skill as a write and thinker, and through his audacity—challenging and provoking the reader, and particularly the Mormon reader, in strange, original ways. Rich and unexpected, the novel explores universal themes of grace, love, sacrifice as well as universal questions about the mind and body, free will, and how anything is known–including and the reality and nature of god. This is achieved through the well-wrought interplay of poetry, philosophy, narrative, and the artful posing of the same devastating questions we have all asked ourselves.

    Gilda Trillim has already been called “a milestone of Mormon literature.” This is true not just for its message but for its medium, harnessing the form of the novel to show that imagination can bring us closer to truth. Fiction is a faculty, helping us transcend the limitations of our natural understandings and perceptions. Odd, complex, and unprecedented, Peck’s Gilda will stand out in Mormon literature not just this year, but for many years.
    ~ Association of Mormon Letters Awards

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    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

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