I am excited to be bringing you my spot on the blog tour hosted by Random Things Tours for the book Lets Fly by Giles Fraser. I was kindly sent an ARC copy of this book to read and review ahead of this tour. This has in no way influenced my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I received this book, it was accompanied by a lovely letter from the author - firstly it was just so nice to be thanked as a blogger to be reading his book. I write this blog because I love reading but when an author reaches out and thanks you for taking the time it makes my work even more worthwhile and leaves me with a fuzzy feeling! He also explained his thoughts behind the book, why he chose the setting of Notting Hill, his own links to the area and his love of it. These links really shone through the story and you could feel his tether to the area and the music of the time.
How do you survive when a lucky break turns out to be the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Nick Hunter is about to find out. He made a colossal mistake when he was barely out of school and now his whole world is in jeopardy as he races against the clock to save his family and his business from disaster.
In 1979 Hunter heads to London, and a squat in Notting Hill, with dreams of musical success. With his fellow squatters he forms a band and they record four short songs before tensions and misunderstandings drive them apart. Nick lies and tells the record company the songs are all his own work. Six years later one of the songs, Let’s Fly, is picked as the soundtrack to a blockbuster movie and Nick makes a fortune in royalties.
In 2017, Nick, his wife Sam and daughter Jen now live in the house opposite his old squat. His successful gig economy, online food business is about to go public, but someone is on his back. Nick is in massive debt and the heavies are closing in. Disasters are befalling the business just at the wrong time. Then Sam is snatched and, with a price on her head, Nick must come up with the money or lose her. With his life and family on the line – and just days to play with - Nick has to stop whoever is destroying his life and come clean with those he loves in order to hang on to everything he holds dear.
This was a highly enjoyable read. I practically inhaled it over two settings.
The story centres around a young man who has made a huge mess of his life and lost everything. It begins at this point and we then slowly learn why and how he has destroyed everything he holds dear.
The story starts in his past in 1979 as he is trying to start a band, all the pitfalls that go along with his singular obsession to make his mark on the world. I never really understood why his band mates make the choices they do at the end of their time together. It seems strange that they they part in such a final way. This does however give us the reasons for his future choices as we move into the present day.
The setting of Notting Hill was great, I have to admit that my only experience of Notting Hill is from the film with Hugh Grant! I have always loved the imagery of it in that film, so I loved reading the different perspectives of it over the years. Giles described it so well I could see it in my mind as he was talking about it. I was fascinated by the differences of it over the years, how Nick had gone from a squat and having no money for food, let alone anything excessive. Busking on street corners, visiting dive bars and living in a very seedy world. To then living in the same area years later but to have such a different perspective, money, importance and a beautiful home right across from his old squat. Just such a great way to show the passing of time and the effect of decisions we make. Giles wanted to capture the contrast between those times and he achieved this extremely well.
As a character I found Nick a difficult one to love, it irked me that he kept so many unnecessary secrets and I felt he could have been a stronger person. So many things were kept from his wife and daughter and his actions caused a lot of issues that could have been avoided had he just trusted those people around him. However without his lack of trust the story wouldn't have been able to have the twists it did. Nicks journey kept me entertained and I enjoyed the outcome for all the characters. It was a fitting end for everyone.
I will certainly be looking out for future stories by this author. His writing style was very fluid and he included lots of lovely details which helped the story develop and wind in its interesting fashion. I certainly recommend it to fellow readers.
Let me know if you have read this or if my review has caused you to add it to your TBR!