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A Simple Life: A Snatch in Time surprised me. Paul Williams has a simple life, he lives on a boat, the Sandpiper, and works at the local college in order to be closer to his son. A cumulation of events (the prospect of reducing visitation access to his son and a bad classroom experience threatening his job), lead him to consider a life of smuggling when two local criminals proposition him.
I thought to begin with that Paul was a bit of an unreliable narrator, his ex-wife and himself reference moments of an overactive imagination, so I did wonder throughout whether the “gangsters” in a small-ish town and the two love interests appearing on the scene in quite a quick succession were all figments of Paul’s imagination. The introduction of the 2039 epilogue timeline heightened my interest and fueled some of my suspicions about Paul’s unreliability. I was curious to find out the outcome of this book.
But how wrong I was! I finished A Simple Life in one sitting and the end surprised me. I’m not going to spoil anything, but by the final page, I had reframed my perspective of the book. As I finished reading, I considered it a story of a man left vulnerable by a number of situations, which is exploited for someone else's gain. I write this in regard to the Jan and Gunton but realise this could also be applied to a number of the secondary characters in the book. As the introduction mentioned that Paul was mild-mannered and his equally mild-mannered lawyer left him paying out a significant amount after his divorce to his ex-wife.
The ending gives a poignancy to the entire book and I would really recommend it to anyone looking for a shorter read, based around a moral dilemma.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Meet 35-year-old Paul Williams. Divorced. Unassertive. Trying his best to live a simple and stress-free life. If only it were that easy. He lives on his scruffy plywood yacht moored in Davison's Dyke on the Norfolk Broads - the cheapest and most isolated moorings in the village with zero facilities - and teaches at the local college.
Paying the mortgage for his ex-matrimonial home and maintenance for his much-loved 4-year-old son, Ben, means Paul's simple life (or hand to mouth existence, as we would call it) is a challenge.
But this is the least of his worries. Because Paul's simple life has started to fall apart. His job is under threat and so is access to his high IQ son, the centre of his world. To add further fuel to the fire, two local criminals are tempting him (the most unlikely criminal ever) to become embroiled in running his boat from the Netherlands to Norfolk.
As his turmoil escalates, he's left with two options.
Stay and fight. Or snatch his son and run.
Find out how Paul's simple life turns so complicated. The lengths he'll go to just to keep his son close, and the married mature student who has her sights set on him.
Funny, entertaining, frustrating and touching in equal measure A Simple Life will have you compelled from the start.
|Publication date:||19th February 2020|
|Primary Genre||Indie Author Books|