Today I’m thrilled to be on the Material Remains blog tour. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Unbound for sending me a copy of the book to review.
Blurb: On a hungover Friday morning, archeology student Mike McEwan’s life of tea, pints, late mornings and the occasional essay comes to an abrupt halt. Consumed with guilt, grief and confusion, Mike haunts the ruins of St Andrews, rebuilding them in his mind and obsessing about the loss of someone he barely knew, unsure of his place in her life, or her death.
The discovery of an ancient plague burial site drags Mike back into contact with those around him. But life has changed, both for himself and others, and the burial ground holds more than the bones of those long dead. As university life continues around him, Mike peels back the layers of earth and its dark history, trying desperately to connect the victims of the past to the tumult of his present.
My Review: I loved this book. That may seem an odd this to say given it’s not the cheeriest of reads but I genuinely enjoyed it. Mike is the main focus and the story shows how he is impacted by a sudden tragedy and how he deals with the aftermath of this. Everyone will go through a loss in their lives but how do you deal with the loss of someone you barely knew. This is what Mike has to figure out.
He has to deal with this impact and work out how he moves on from something that has affected him badly but equally something that he feels he has no right to be so affected by. The writing is brilliant, it shows perfectly the turmoil that comes with the situation that Mike is in and how he deals with it. The portrayal of the student life is also spot on, the mixture of essays, pub visits and general student life is perfectly portrayed.
This book blew me away with the writing and the story itself. The characters leap off the page and come to life with the minimum of description. I got immersed in the story and just flew through the pages. This is definitely an author to watch out for in the future!
About the author:
Richard W. H. Bray is a writer and winemaker. His first book, Salt and Old Vines, won Best French Wine Book at the 2015 Gourmand Awards. He lives in London.