Chasing the Sun with Henry is a novel I probably would not have chosen and for a quite embarrassing reason. It is written by a man and written in the first person with a man as the protagonist. I would normally go for a female author which is ridiculous because some of my favourite authors are men but there you have it. I may as well be honest.
I read the blurb on the back of the novel which was sent to me for review. I was told that Eddie was a children’s entertainer and close hand magician who was bored in his marriage. I still did not feel inspired thinking from the look of the fact that he meets a beautiful stranger this would be just about some affair.
The novel starts with a familiar enough scene as Eddie returns from a dog walk on the beach with his Collie-Spaniel cross, Henry. His wife Sally moans and he takes it in stride for once as he is excited having met a woman whilst out. The marriage seems to be stale perhaps and also troubled but it is not clear why but I sensed something big would be revealed in due course. I liked both Eddie and Sally and also enjoyed how the affection and memories between them are still there although threatened by a number of things including domestic irritations, family dynamics and stress.
We are introduced to the couple and their friends quite quickly. All are drawn really well including Henry the dog. I was interested in each and every one of them and not quite sure where their stories would take them. The book held my attention and I was keen to return to it regularly.
The woman on the beach who attracts Eddie’s interest remains an enigma to the reader and to Eddie for that matter until about halfway through the book when their paths cross again although this time Cerys’ dog is missing and this is going to tie different aspects of the book together.
I am about halfway through the book and I love it. I would want to return to the same author again and look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you soon.
The author comments:
“My novel portrays the various guises of love that we encounter in life; from parental, platonic and sexual, to a love of nature and the natural world. The story offsets the positive influences we gain from such relationships against the losses we are also forced to face,” says Gary.
So far, I think that is a good description and these themes surely would appeal to most of us.