October 29, 2021
Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, UK, Mount Everest, Rock and Roll Band, Fame
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks (indie author) @Roz_Morris for a complimentary e-copy of #EverRest and the review request. All opinions are my own.
Hugo and Ash and friends formed the wildly popular and sensational rock band, Ashbirds. The day that Ash went missing and was presumed to have perished during an extreme mountain climbing expedition on Mt Everest, all their lives were changed forever. The current timeline begins twenty years after the accident as each member of the band and Ash’s girlfriend struggle to make a new life for themselves. A great deal of time is spent filling in the backstory of how Hugo and Ash and his girlfriend, Elza, first met, their journey to stardom, and the explanation of what really happened on the mountain.This is the story of grief, recovery, and moving on.
Compelling Theme: One element I really appreciate about this well-written story is the theme of recovering from catastrophic loss. Do we let one event define us for the rest of our lives or do we think of the event as something that happened, grieve, and move on? This question is complicated as there is more to consider here than just moving on from a tragic event. There’s the huge issue of fame and celebrity and livlihood to consider. As the group is grieving for Ash, they also have to come to terms with the loss of their band, their inspiration and driving force, and of their celebrity status and fame. Some might want to leave the music industry altogether while others might want to stay in music and duplicate their success with another band and lead singer. Moving on becomes extrememly difficult as Ash’s body is never discovered, so they are living in limbo….still connected but needing to move on. The survivors become as stranded and frozen as if they were the ones lost in the ice on that mountain.
Title: I love a clever and multilayered title! Ever Rest works perfectly to sum up the main event and setting and to allude to the theme of finding peace and rest (eternal rest for the victim and peace of mind for the survivors).
Mixed Feelings: While the main theme is poignant and compelling and the writing is powerful and descriptive, I am not especially drawn to stories about a rock and roll band and their drugs and alcohol lifestyle. To complicate my reading experience, the characters (with the exception of Hugo) are not especially likable, although they are certainly realistic.
Recommended: I definitely enjoyed the unique premise, the quality of the writing and the structure of the story. Even though I’ve concluded that I’m not exactly the right target audience for this story, I’m certainly recommending it for others that might appreciate the subgenre.
Content Consideration: death of a loved one and friend (looking for the body, description of a body after twenty years in the elements); grief
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Roz Morris
Roz Morris writes fiction and essays about unusual ways we can be haunted and how we seek people and places we belong with. Her work has been profiled by The Guardian, Literature Works, the Potomac Review, Rain Taxi and BBC Radio. Her novel Lifeform Three was longlisted for the World Fantasy Award.
Her fiction has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, although you won’t have seen her name on the covers – she began her career in secret, ghostwriting fiction for big-name authors.
Her own novels have been described as ‘profound tales and compelling page-turners’, with fine-honed language, unforgettable characters, and gripping, unusual storylines. Plaudits include a top-ranked title in the American Library Journal programme, a longlisting for an international award alongside Neil Gaiman and a finalist position in the People’s Book Prize 2017.
She is a writer, journalist, fiction editor and the author of the Nail Your Novel series for writers. She teaches creative writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper in London and is also the author of a series for writers – Nail Your Novel.
If you want to get to know her a little better, drop in at http://www.rozmorris.wordpress.com and her blog http://www.nailyournovel.com – where she keeps a regular diary of challenges she’s tackling in her writing.
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