Seven Days with You by Hugo Driscoll
|Seven Days With You by Hugo Driscoll|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A quick but suprisingly deep read which looks sensitively at young love and terminal illness: it's more uplifting than you might expect from that description! Hugo Driscoll popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 158||Date: June 2017|
|Publisher: Leap of Faith Publishing|
There was little in eighteen-year-old Sean Johnson's life to give him joy. He was a farmhand in the small town of Bloxford and the highlights of his life were his daily chats with his friend Tom, helping out at the animal sanctuary and a trip to the pub on a Saturday night. The downsides were the boring job and having to live with a drunken father who seemed to have no intention of getting over the death of his wife many years earlier. But it would be the animal sanctuary which brought joy into his life in the form of Sophia Hillingdon, daughter of one of the top lawyers in the country and about to go to Oxford to study law herself. It was their love of animals which would spark their love for each other.
The summer of 1957 was glorious and Sean and Sophia made the most of it, riding out over the Suffolk countryside and dancing on a Saturday night, before sneaking to Sean's home to spend the night together. Determined that their love wasn't going to die despite the fact that Sophia was about to leave for Oxford they decided to tell their families about the relationship. Sean's father was surprisingly good, not least because Sophia had the knack of being able to talk to anyone, but Sophia's father was predictably horrified and an overheard conversation convinced Sean that he was wrong for her. Hurt and angry, he left the small town - and Sophia's life.
It would be many years before they would meet again: in that time Sean would have plumbed the depths and then become a well-to-do man. Despite his lack of education he wasn't lacking in personal insight and I liked him more when, at his lowest, he realised that it would be all too easy to turn into his father - the man he'd condemned for his drunken reaction to the loss of his wife. He would need all his strength for the heady and overwhelming mixture of pain and joy which was to come his way.
It's Sean's character which carries the story: Hugo Driscoll has written a surprisingly complex man in relatively few words and even at his drunken worst I was still willing him to succeed. He kept me turning the pages to the extent that I finished the book in one sitting, and not without quite a few tears. Driscoll's been clever with Sophia too: she could so easily have been the stereotypical clever little rich girl, but whilst she's got no doubts about her abilities she has empathy and a willingness to see beyond the superficial. The two make an unlikely combination, but in Driscoll's hands it's entirely believable.
So far as the plot goes it's worth overlooking the numerous anachronisms and the lack of professional proofing which would have given a final polish, because it's a story which holds you and whilst it looks at an unpleasant subject - terminal illness - it does so sensitively and in a surprisingly uplifting way. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
You can read more about Hugo Driscoll here.
Hugo Driscoll was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Seven Days with You by Hugo Driscoll at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Seven Days with You by Hugo Driscoll at Amazon.com.
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