Reviewed by Debs Carr
Eric is an average man. In fact everything about him, his looks, his flat, even his ambition is pretty average. He’s frightened by many things and tends to imagine disastrous endings to everything, whether its going in a lift, flying (something he’s never tried), driving (he never learned to do this), or even marriage. However, when he married his frumpy wife, he never envisaged her losing weight and turning into a fashionista. If that wasn't enough, she then replaced him with a much taller, more accomplished, better looking man who she then accompanied to Seattle, taking their twelve-year-old daughter, Erica, with them.
Eric is miserable, down on his luck and generally very unhappy. Stella, his colleague at the library does her best to encourage him to find a partner, but after hopeless attempts to do so via the internet, Eric gives up. Christmas comes along and while he’s trying to avoid spending the time alone, he bumps, quite literally, into Mandy. She’s the woman of his dreams and suddenly things begin to look up. All is not as it seems with Eric though. On the surface he may seem very dull, but his past is far from ordinary. He slowly opens up about the mysteries he’s kept hidden and when he is put in a position that culminates in him having to face his fears he discovers that he isn’t as weak or as passive as he’d always assumed.
When I first began reading this book I wasn’t sure if I was going to find it an easy read, but then a couple of chapters in and I couldn’t put it down. Wendy Perriam writes with an amusing edge. Eric’s sense of humour is infectious and you end up wanting him to make something of himself and realise that he is capable of so much more than he assumes. His relationship with his ex-wife makes you want to defend him, and as he learns more about his daughter, Erica, and opens up to her their mutual respect for each other grows. I ended up really enjoying this book and willing Eric on as his story progressed. A sensitive, humorous book about an average man who has more about him than even he expected.
WENDY PERRIAM'S WEBSITE