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A lonely man in his late thirties living an average life of missed opportunities and regrets especially regarding the opposite sex, dies in a plane crash somewhere over the English channel. When he awakens in a subdued and bizarre subconscious state, he is granted by the powers that be, one chance to spend a day with the two women in his life who made an impact on his heart, yet he never had the courage to let go of his fears and act upon his instincts and desires at the time of...
A lonely man in his late thirties living an average life of missed opportunities and regrets especially regarding the opposite sex, dies in a plane crash somewhere over the English channel. When he awakens in a subdued and bizarre subconscious state, he is granted by the powers that be, one chance to spend a day with the two women in his life who made an impact on his heart, yet he never had the courage to let go of his fears and act upon his instincts and desires at the time of meeting them.
Posted October 6, 2013
The unnamed narrator of our story spends the initial pages ranting about what a loser he is with women. He has lots of things he plans to say but never says them. He admires two particular women on a plane, both of whom he describes as very attractive, sexy gals but he seems paralyzed to act on his best intentions. Then things change quite dramatically. As the plane plunges the narrator to his death, he’s not doing the “life in a flash” routine but thinking about all those regrets about women he failed to embrace wholly.
No death descriptions follow, just a surrealistic awakening in a daze as Liam, our narrator, begins to describe a lovely story about a woman named Alexandra whom Liam meets on a bus. Is it real, a dream, a fantasy? You the reader must decide. Liam is on his game with Alexandra. Yes, he almost blows this chance as well but finally in a fortuitous moment they connect and Liam describes how he woos her. First they travel to all the loveliest, historic, and cultural places in Edinburgh, Scotland that make the reader want to visit there because of Liam’s short but intriguing descriptions. Their conversation is witty, sarcastic, intellectual, sad, and finally endearing. They’ve both made their mistakes in love and both have enough differences to spark the interest of the other. This budding relationship goes where we think it will and then something occurs that the reader may think inevitable, contrived, or excruciating – depending on one’s own propensities and beliefs about true, undying love!
We then read about one of Liam’s first real teenage love, Sarah. We share their wild, daring adventures as Sarah is a feisty, tomboyish girl who thinks nothing of scaring the daylights out of Liam, looking out for worms and other creatures, discovering a stash of wine, enjoying a playful yet titillating kiss, and more. But the stories that they share are sad indeed in between the child-like scenes. The balance is perfect and quite memorable! After they lose each other through a violent battle involving Sarah’s father, they meet again later and part.
We all learn to love; it’s not an innate skill that automatically blossoms! It’s mixed with the ups and downs of gritty life and to be eagerly anticipated and embraced at each opportunity that appears. This is Sean-Paul Thomas’s motif told in roller-coaster fashion at times and others like a smooth, graceful ride down a Viennese canal, true romance! But who’s to say what’s true and what’s all wrong? This unusual novel will entertain you but also leave you reflecting about your own love journeys that didn’t happen but happened. It’s a reflection on making sense out of what seems impossible – it’s love!
Very nicely crafted contemporary fiction, Sean-Paul Thomas!
Posted September 23, 2013
"Lovz Books" - “For as long as I could remember I was never really that great with women…they were my stumbling blocks…Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Whoever came up with that phrase, I wanted his greasy head on a silver platter.” (3) Right from the start, our main protagonists lures the reader into a world of self-deprecating humor.
“My final thoughts weren't of my loving mother, my proud but stubborn father, my jolly cheery match maker sister or my average life and few friends back home in Edinburgh. Nor had I any thoughts of my dead end job, never ending bills, mortgages or my good health, my fitness, the places I'd always dreamed about travelling to and visiting one day but never found the time to do so…Instead, I found myself thinking about all those missed opportunities I'd had throughout my life with [girls].” (11)
This story is all about regret and resentment. There are no second chances in life, but what if…suddenly there were?
We follow the journey of Liam, a lonely and lovesick man, as he attempts to recapture those lost chances in fumbling ways. In part 1, we begin with Alexandra, the blonde on the bus. The two spend the day touring the Scottland landmarks while exchanging dry (and sometimes horrific) pleasantries. It was odd that so much was divulged in such a short time, like virginity loss and family death. The bulk of this segment was mainly focused on the constant togetherness of Liam and Alex, until finally their love combusts into a passionate night. Then…it’s over.
In part 2, Liam re-awakens in his 13-year old body. Re-living his innocent days of burrowing through caves and sorting through nudie magazines, Liam reacquaints himself with his old crush, Sarah—a brave, little tomboy. Together, they experience some wild adventures.
Written in reverse mode, this tale answers the “what if” questions in Liam’s life. I couldn’t help but enjoy Liam’s witty and naïve nature. His endearing gullibility, especially when it came to girls, was present throughout his lifespan. It was funny!
Although, at times, the various accents and expressions were difficult to comprehend, the characters were quirky and somewhat fascinating.
As I was reading, I couldn’t help but question how our hero was able to get this “second chance.” And how many was he getting? Was it just a dream? And why does he have trouble remembering?
What I liked best was the unique story line of time travel and re-living past moments. The writer definitely has a knack for stories.
The great message of the story was: No Regrets. Just go for it right NOW—not LATER—because you just never know... “That's what happens though when you sit back and don't go after what you want. You just never know what the hell might happen and what kind of adventures might pan out over that whole day in front of you, if you decide to take a risk.” (282)
Note: A few typos could’ve been corrected here and there. And then, of course, there’s…….the cliffhanger. Grrrrr!