Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Book Review: The Second Life Of Nathan Jones

By Becky Gulc

‘Getting hit by a bus was the best thing that ever happened to him…

When one wrong step – and the poor timing of the number 19 bus – send Nathan Jones to the Edinburgh morgue his story should have ended…but then he went and woke up.

Returned to real life Nathan finds a wife disappointed that he’s miraculously returned from the dead and an unshakable attraction for mortuary technician Kat – the woman who brought him back to life, in more ways than one.

Now, as his world implodes and Kat leads him down an unexpected path, Nathan somehow finds himself having the time of his second life…’ (Synopsis courtesy of HarperCollins.)

The Second Life Of Nathan Jones is the third novel by David Atkinson, having previously been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association award in 2015. The synopsis and the cover both appealed to me and I could tell I was about to experience a quirky book. So what did I think?

Nathan Jones...a man who is knocked down dead one day only to be found to be alive by Goth mortuary technician Kat. When you’d think Nathan’s wife Laura would be ecstatic to learn that he’s not dead after all, it soon becomes clear that this is far from a happy marriage, and quite frankly Laura seems a little disappointed! But with three children together can they sort things out? One person who is unsure about this after feeling an instant attraction to Nathan is Kat and she feels compelled to make him aware of her feelings.

I felt an instant connection myself to both characters, they both seemed a little lost, kind, and quirky, especially Kat. I felt the stars were aligned for them and enjoyed the roller-coaster of a journey they went on together. Of course elements seem far-fetched (waking up in a morgue; turning up on a ‘patient’s’ doorstep) but that added to the fun and feel of the novel, to be honest; it felt different and it worked. Kat is forthright, impulsive, and that gets them in some challenging situations at times, but her heart is very much in the right place.

The novel does cover some challenging situations including the custody arrangements for the children. I felt sorry for the children and Millie was just a great character, wise beyond her years. I would have perhaps liked to learn more about what Nathan was feeling during this period. Sometimes there seemed to be a heavier focus on Kat’s character, like she took over the narrative, but that may be to do with the different way their viewpoints were represented (Nathan’s in third person, Kat’s first person).

Altogether I really enjoyed this novel, the style of writing flowed for me and I praise it for being a bit different and ‘out there’ at times. I’d definitely read more from David.

Thanks to David Atkinson for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by David Atkinson:

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