Genre: Contemporary fiction
It was just a phone call. Just meaningless words between two strangers. It didn’t mean anything…
Still reeling from a break-up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold-caller Ray English has become a bit of a screw up. Cynical and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London. However, once he is asked to reform his college band for a friend’s wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on.
Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret and a history that continues to shape her life. A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely; she is also trying to avert a looming mid-life crisis.
Through fate, coincidence or just bad timing, Ray and Anya’s lives begin to change when Ray cold-calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous phone conversation. Against their better judgement, their conversation is soon the start of a phone relationship of sorts. As the weeks and months pass, it grows in frequency and intimacy, and a curious, almost dependent friendship is born. But can there be anything real in just a phone call? As circumstances bring these two lonely souls to the same town at the same time, both are forced to question the truth of what they have started, and the realisation that if they are to move on in their lives, they will have to start by facing the ghosts of their past…
A wonderful tale of friendship and the need to talk things through with someone – anyone – in order to let your life move forward.
Ray has yet to get over being dumped by his long-term girlfriend when – unexpectedly – his life at a call centre leads him to speak to Anya, a housewife with issues of her own. As the calls continue, friendship blossoms and their lives are both irrevocably changed.
Witty dialogue provided great snippets of the same conversation from different points of view. The characters were flawed but relatable and, aside from perhaps too prominent a narrative for some of the supporting cast, the writing was fresh and the narrative flow perfectly paced. This was a lovely modern take on friendship and alienation. Recommended.
*I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.