I’m delighted to be on the opening day of the blog tour for Just by Jenny Morton Potts today and I want to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part. Make sure you scroll down to the end of the review to enter a giveaway for one of five copies of the book.
“How far would you go to save a life?
On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.
‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.
An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.”
This is a difficult novel to categorise. It is described as a heart stopping thriller and at its basic core, that is what it is, but I felt it went beyond that. To me it seemed to be written very tongue in cheek which lifted it out of the general thriller genre and into something unique of of its own. Suffice it to say, this is very different to anything else I have read, to the point I can’t actually think of anything to liken it to, which is refreshing.
This is a book that takes a little while to warm up and draw you in and I think that is partly because it jumps around very quickly from location to location and character to character, so it takes a while for the reader to make a connection to the individuals in the story. The timeline is also jerky and disjointed, hopping from date to date in uneven leaps. The plot twists and turns and ends up in unexpected places and you need to do some work on occasion to work out how it got there. It is a book you really need to concentrate on to keep up with what is happening to each character at any given moment. It is not a particularly restful book, not for a lazy brain or a period of desired idleness of thought; it requires an investment of thought, a stretching of the cerebral matter but I think this is warranted and to be encouraged, given the subject matter and it is worth the investment of effort.
The characters are complex and, save for Scott, not necessarily particularly likeable but this does not prevent us being drawn into their stories, because they are realistically flawed and intriguing. I was left at the end still with some ambiguous feelings for a couple of them, but this just fitted in with the whole tone of the book. Nothing about fits into a neat and easy box that you can just close the lid on once you are done. It leaves you with as many questions as it answers and I was thinking about it long after I finished the final page.
The subject matter of the book is topical and very relevant, but does not make for easy reading and the author does not shy away from giving us the full visceral experience of the scenes she is describing. Some of the language is blunt and earthy and readers should prepare themselves for that but it is totally justified, not gratuitous and the author really brings the scenes to life, scenes which we may as people in our comfy, safe havens be aware of but shy away from imagining too vividly. The author isn’t allowing us to do that, she is slapping us in the face with some harsh and unpleasant realities that make for uncomfortable but possibly necessary reading in the current environment.
The main thing I loved about this book was her use of language. The author has a way of describing everyday sights in a succinct but novel way that you may not have thought of before but completely encapsulated what she was trying to say and I could immediately and very clearly picture what she was describing. I went through highlighting some of my favourite phrases: “the panic of real life locked back in their cars at the NCP”, “something of a busty Uriah Heep”, “The kind of person who would take the low offer on The Chase” (don’t you immediately despise that person?), “the frill of the sea”, “the contents scampering up the sides of the glass as his hand shook’, ‘gentle slopes of spices’, I could go on and on. The author is obviously having great fun with language and description and I delighted in her delight of it. My very favourite part involved an inexperienced person handling a baby, it made me laugh out loud with glee at how brilliantly she brought the experience to life.
This book is different, challenging, rewarding and will linger in my mind for a good while. I would recommend it as a very meaningful read.
Just is out now and you can buy a copy here.
To enter the draw to win one of five copies of this book, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
I think this is a book that will illicit very different responses in each reader so if you would like to see what my fellow bloggers made of it, please follow the tour:
About the Author
Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.
Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.
Connect with Jenny:
Facebook: Jenny Morton Potts
Goodreads: Jenny Morton Potts