Friday 10 June 2022

BLOG TOUR: Parklife - Lucy Nichol

Dumped, drunk and desperate for oblivion…

It’s 1996. Emma’s been rejected by the man she loves and sacked from the job she hates. Feeling like she’s hit a new low, she finds herself serving ice-cream and phoney smiles at the park.

Best mate Dave’s loved up, and her dad’s finally emerging from years of unemployment. Everyone’s life is on the up while Emma’s plummeting towards rock bottom. 

Every day she gives a free ‘99 to the lonely old man who sits on the park bench and reminds herself that life could be much worse.

But soon, even sprinkles and monkey’s blood can’t hide the truth. She’s in deep trouble and losing sight of the edge. Who will help her up when she falls?

What did I think?

Sometimes you know you want to read a book without even reading the blurb and that was definitely the case for me with Parklife.  I mean, just that dropped ice cream on the cover sums up the feeling of the book as Emma is definitely down on her luck.

I was delighted to catch up with Emma again after reading and loving The Twenty Seven Club so it was heartbreaking to see her in such a bad place.  Emma is an addict, hooked on booze and pills, but she doesn't think she has a problem.  Her boyfriend John has broken up with her and even her whippet Trev would rather stay with Emma's best mate Dave.  When she loses her job too, she thinks she can't sink any lower...but unfortunately she can.

I love Lucy Nichol's writing; it's proper Yorkshire as she says it how it is.  I felt very emotional reading Emma's story as there are so many people like her in real life, many of whom won't be lucky enough to have a support network around them.  Although it's quite a dark storyline, it's lightened up with Emma's blossoming friendship with Les, who visits the park each day to feed the ducks, and some musical entertainment down The Angel.

Of course, I couldn't miss Trev out of my review and it always puts a smile on my face to read about my favourite whippet.  It's almost like you could feel how worried he is about Emma too.  Best mate Dave and landlady Dor are on fine form and their affection for Emma is heartwarming to see.  I absolutely loved reading this book and could write so much more about it but I urge you to experience it for yourself.

Raw, honest and hopeful, Parklife is a sensitive portrayal of addiction and how it can hurt those you love the most, but they never stop loving you.  It's so beautifully written and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Lucy is a mental health campaigner and PR consultant, and a former columnist with Sarah Millican's Standard Issue magazine.  She has written for The Independent, The I Paper, NME, Red Magazine, Den of Geek, Men’s Fitness, Metro and Huff Post.  Lucy has worked with several mental health and recovery charities over the years including Recovery Connections, The Road to Recovery Trust, Mind, Time to Change and Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

You can also sign up to Lucy’s author newsletter.

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