Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for Catch 52 by P.G. Ronane.
About the book:
What do you do when your love affair with Europe comes to an undignified end?
On 24th June 2016, Mike McCarthy wakes up to the news that Britain has voted to leave the EU. A committed European, he is shattered. Over the coming weeks and months, he takes a long, hard look at himself, determined to uncover the reasons why this travesty has occurred, scrutinising the faces of everyone he meets for those he believes may have voted in or out.
As he tries to cope with the looming horror of Brexit, Mike fondly recalls his visits to Europe as a young man, the relationships he formed and how these have moulded his pan-European outlook.
Digging too deeply into issues has always been his problem. Mike begins to question the views he holds so dear and discovers new things about those closest to him. As McCarthy staggers on from The Referendum to the unthinkable triggering of Article 50, he finds himself plunged himself into a different world of social comment and political media. As the strategy for Brexit emerges, he wonders where his future lies and questions his commitment to a cause that may yet plunge his and Britain’s hopes and dreams into the abyss.
Mike McCarthy is an Art Teacher who is a committed Remain supporter. Thanks to his love of politics, and a headteacher who is media savvy, he finds himself thrust into the limelight on various panels to debate the outcome.
The story is part fictional memoir, and several chapters deal with why he has become so concerned over remaining in Europe. He explores memories of trips to Europe and relations he made there.
Even though I wouldn’t normally read something like this, I did enjoy it, and found it a quick and easy read. It is definitely aimed more at Remainers than Brexiteers.
Overall, I would give it a solid 3* review.
*My thanks to Rachel Gilbey and the team for providing a free copy for honest review*
Born and raised on Merseyside, currently 61 years of age. For 30 of those years I was a police officer, most which was spent as a detective in the inner-city areas of Liverpool. During the 1980s I worked in the Toxteth area of the city, a time and place that will be forever etched in the psyche of everyone connected in some way or other with Liverpool. People often ask what were the highlights, they never tend to ask about the more numerous and interesting lowlights. However, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The city and its people always have been and always will be irrepressible, a constant source of inspiration.
From a cultural point of view, as a police officer I was in a unique position to identify, observe and evaluate the many strands of British society and life during a time of great cultural and social change. We tend to forget just how important our societal observers and recorders can be to our heritage and I began to make written and mental notes of little incidents, events, characters and occurrences. Many were funny, some bizarre, a few tragic, all a kaleidoscopic mirror of a time and place.
During the 1970s I began to travel on the European mainland soaking up other cultures. I used the same methodology in recording my experiences. Paris was a personal favourite and I once met and shared a cigarette with Samuel Beckett on a bridge, something I used to boast about when drunk. The cigarettes and the drink have long since passed under another bridge. The wanderlust has continued unabated and I keep telling myself that I will one day settle down in one of my favourite European places, urban, rural, mountainous or coastal. Sadly, I’m fickle and simply can’t make up my mind where to go. Maybe one day. All suggestions on a postcard please.
At the tender age of 49 after 30 years, I found myself a gentleman of leisure, aka as retired from the force. Like many others I suspect, I had no idea what I would do with the rest of my life. Strangely, the years since have been packed with goodies of every description from enrolment as a full-time student at university-an occupation I remember with great fondness especially collecting young fellow students, bringing them home, giving them a good meal and listening as they told me of their wonderful, full lives; to working as an Estate Agent and a professional photographer. The whole thing was a learning process for me, as everything in life is and should be. Later, I was astonished by the award of a first-class honours degree in Cultural Studies. I even dabbled in politics, seeking office; unsuccessfully, I might add – a very lucky escape. The European journeys have been resurrected, even more places to add to my list, augmented by the Americas, north and south.
So, where are we now? I work as an education manager and live on the Wirral, with my partner, 16-year-old son and the neighbour’s cats. ‘Where?’ I hear you say. Well it’s just across the river from the country’s first, and only Capital of Culture, a sort of leafy version of Clapham. Whilst there I indulge in a little reading-everything from Swift to Sartre, take a few snapshots, also known as photography, listen to everything from Bach to Boulez and when the neighbours are out play some loud British Progressive Rock from the 1970s. I’ve recently embarked on something known as writing, which is something that used to be done with a pen, nowadays it appears, as if by magic on a white screen that just might seriously affect one’s mind. My debut novel, Catch 52: An everyman’s tale of surviving in a post-brexit world came about simply as a reaction to one of ‘the great issues of our time,’ lying bored at the side of a swimming pool and listening to the views, ideas and comments of dozens of people. In this mad, absurd and turbulent world that we live in I’m again busy documenting the views, ideas and Tweets of the global populace as we continue ‘down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland’ on our Brexit journey. Another book? Let’s see how things unfold.
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