My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
When we first encounter, Peter Bowman he seems to have a well ordered, middle class life in London. He has a comfortable marriage to his wife, Ann, and an uneventful career as a solicitor. However, when Ann is unexpectedly called back to the North East to be with her father, who is very ill, Peter spends time, away from Ann, exploring the North East on his own. He meets, Sally, an attractive young woman with whom he feels an instant connection, and it is this attraction, along with a personal tragedy, which acts as the much needed catalyst for Peter to take charge of his life.
The story is set in the late 1960s, the age of permissiveness and liberalism, and yet this freedom of thought and action seems to have bypassed Peter who is approaching middle-age with something of a heavy heart. He feels unsatisfied, and in order to discover what he wants from his life, he needs to makes some drastic changes.
The author writes well, with an understanding of time and place, and both the writing and the dialogue, compliment this period in history. However, it took me a little time to feel an affinity with the characters, I wasn't even sure I liked Peter very much at first, but as the story progresses, especially when the action moves to France, I felt like I understood him a little more, and became interested in just how Peter and Sally's story would eventually play out.
In Beyond the Arch there are some interesting, and astute, observations about the vagaries of life, the perils of relationships, and of how fate can, so often, take our lives in an entirely unexpected direction.
David Evered’s professional career was in academic medicine and research. He has been a consultant physician in Newcastle Upon Tyne, the Deputy Head of the UK Medical Research Council, a Special Adviser to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO – Lyon) and a Trustee of Macmillan Cancer Support. He has lived in Newcastle, London and France and is now retired. He and his wife live in rural West Berkshire. This is his first work of fiction.
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