Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.
Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.
All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.
If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.
This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.
This is a book that is both challenging and rewarding. The author deals with sensitive issues concerned with physical and mental health: topics that aren’t often the subject of a novel. They are somewhat dark and heavy, and yet there are moments of humour and lightness in the story, displaying how versatile the author is. It’s clear the author is passionate about what she’s writing and that gives great energy to it.
Our protagonists, Tom and Adam, are portrayed from inside and out which adds great richness to the novel. Neither of them are what they seem, both to others and themselves. At times this goes against the natural flow of the writing and it takes a little concentration, but I don’t think it hurts to give readers a bit of work to do!
You’ll experience a variety of emotions as you read this thought-provoking, interesting and ultimately life-affirming story, and it’s one which will stay with you for a while.
“The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.
I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when i left to write and explore new projects.
I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.”
Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.
In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.
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