By Ana Todorovic-Radetic
I assume there are two types of people who have read Tony Parsons’ novels. His enthusiastic admirers and those not very keen on reading his works (who got one of them as a gift, perhaps). I suppose it’s good when people have such kind of opinion or feeling for you, so that nobody is indifferent. As far as I’m concerned, I’m in-between. His narrative is quite interesting and the plot is easy to follow, sometimes, maybe too easy.
The topics he writes about are familiar to each of us, they’re about personal relationships, family matters, issues typical for ex-wives and husbands, as well as the wives and husbands-to-be. So, really true-to-life.
So, what’s the book about? The protagonist Harry falls in love with a beautiful Japanese woman Kazumi (although he’s married to his second wife Cyd, and loves her, too). He’s a stepfather to Peggy and a “Sunday dad” to his own Pat. Eventually he starts an affair with Kazumi and is divided within himself. On the one hand, he cannot be untrue to himself, on the other hand, he doesn’t want to be unfaithful to Cyd.
When he’s on the point of starting a new life, an unpleasant accident would make him think twice. Although he will betray a part of himself, he would surely give himself (and us, as well) a fantastic reason why one should stay with their loved ones.
In a nutshell, it’s about “blended” families, divorces, new starts, deadly diseases. About feelings of loss and revival, of sadness and loneliness despite being married. About affairs.
Tony Parsons is skilled at writing, undoubtedly. However, sometimes I get a feeling that he might write for commercial purposes mainly. And sometimes, when I’m on the verge of saying that the sequence of events is so trivial, I get surprised at some of his intelligent remarks or observings.
But what impresses me most in this story line particularly is that he gives an unusual ending. Extraordinary, indeed.