5 reasons you might not want to read my next book


Keen as I am for readers to pick up my next novel, Lyrics for the Loved Ones, I don’t want you to spend your time and money on something you might not enjoy. So, I’m coming clean on the factors that could put readers off.

It covers the early months of the pandemic, a period many want to forget. But the themes of anxiety, grief, inventiveness, and isolation are part of the human condition and relevant at any time.

It’s unashamedly political, although the emphasis is not on the politicians but their impact on ordinary lives. I’ve tried to be even-handed and not preachy, with different characters reflecting different perspectives on the 2019 UK election, the management or mismanagement of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests breaking lockdown rules. But I can’t be impartial about the Windrush Scandal and, as far as I’m aware, you won’t find it featured anywhere else in fiction.

There’s an intricate plot – Booker-prize nominated author, Alison Moore, called it smartly constructed, but some readers might be confused. Most, I hope, will be intrigued to discover exactly how the characters are connected or will simply enjoy the ride.

One point-of-view character draws on Cumbrian dialect, which might frustrate those who prefer standard English. Others relish the language diversity even if it’s unfamiliar. Most readers so far have found it easy to understand, but I’ve included a glossary for extra clarity.

Some characters have more than one name. Normally, I take great care to minimise confusion by creating an alphabetical list of character names to avoid any two starting with the same letter. But my main character, Matty, has no patience remembering the care home staff and residents’ official names. She identifies them by nicknames that make sense to her: Olive Oyl, Bluebell, The Maharaja, Oh My Darling and Goodnight Irene.

If these issues aren’t too daunting, why not give Lyrics for the Loved Ones a go? You might find yourself, like book blogger Veronika Jordan, reeling from the sheer brilliance. Or, like author Alex Craigie, that it’s one of the best books [you’ve] ever read. I can almost guarantee you’ll find it humorous and emotional. Like author and blogger Olga Núňez Miret, you might encounter one of the most memorable and heart-wrenching protagonists [you’ve] met.

Follow this link to purchase a copy: books2read.com/LovedOnes