26 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2021
MELTING IN THE MIDDLE by ANDY HOWDEN.
Genre: Comic Fiction/ Uplit
Publication Date: 28th November 2020
Estimated Page Count: 425
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1800460643
A story of redemption, second chances - and chocolate – amid the madness of modern life.
For Stephen Carreras, life is in turmoil. His career with Britain’s worst chocolate company is heading for the rocks when it’s taken over by US confectionery giant Schmaltz. He’s just turned forty, he’s messed up on marriage and is struggling to keep a toehold in the lives of his monosyllabic teenage children.
Then he meets Rachel, who dances to a very different beat. She challenges him to do good among the carnage that surrounds him. But to do so, he must confront his past and work out all over again what really matters…
FIRST SENTENCE: Part One, Chapter One ... Stephen Carreras gazed into his screensaver.
MEMORABLE MOMENT ... The original Mr Hamish Grimley, his portrait staring down at them stern and moustachioed from the nicotine-stained walls, had no doubt sat here, plotting with his fellow dour Scottish Presbyterians to feed chocolate to the working class poor ( Pg 172)
MY THOUGHTS ... Forget a story of redemption and second chances, a self confessed chocoholic, I was hooked the minute I read the word chocolate.
Seriously though ...
'A life in turmoil, monosyllabic teenage children' ... and a possible romance; one that by the sounds of it might have a bit of a difference to it or at the very least wouldn't be one of those 'Insta' love affairs, there were so many things about this book that led me to believe that I might enjoy it ... and enjoy it I most certainly did.
The company he works for, Britain’s worst chocolate company having been taken over by American confectionery giant Schmaltz, his working life changed almost beyond recognition, things can go one of two ways for our protagonist Stephen Carreras ... but which?
Whilst there was a more than decent plot that took a look that was at once both humorous and yet decidedly disconcerting at the modern rat race, for me the pleasure in Melting in The Middle lay in the the fact that, character driven, I loved the exploration whether they be work colleagues, teenage children, ex-wife or new love interest between Stephen and the various other factions.
A humorous read with memorable characters, long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize, Melting in the Middle is a literary comedy about redemption and second chances, played out amid the madness of modern life; if you're in the market for just such a novel to pass away the hours, this is it.ABOUT ANDY HOWDEN ... Born in Yorkshire, Andy Howden read English at Sheffield University before a career in marketing, including working for a multi-national company in London and Paris. This novel was long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize as ‘funny, poignant and uplifting’ and sprang out of a MA in Creative Writing at St.Mary’s University in Twickenham. Andy lives in South West London with is wife and has two grown up children who have left home but fortunately keep popping back to see him.
FOLLOW ANDY HOWDEN ... ~
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