FLASH midweek TripFiction GIVEAWAY
Novel set mainly in London and Nepal
23rd October 2021
Ever Rest by Roz Morris, novel set mainly in London and Nepal.
This is very much a novel that looks at the legacy of fame. Twenty years ago, Ashten and Hugo were at the height of their fame, part of the rock band Ashbirds. The two of them decided on a trek in the Himalayas to climb Everest and Ash went missing, presumed dead. Hugo survived but threw in the towel on his life of fame and settled in Kathmandu, where he is still based now and working as a guide, involved in a local climbing school. It gives him the opportunity to travel to mountainous regions around the world and test his skills. He is also confronted by the regular hazards of being in inhospitable terrain and has to manage the multitude of afflictions that can beset climbers.
Back in London, Elza – Ash’s erstwhile girlfriend – has been learning to quietly get on with her life. Every now and then a body will be revealed on the mountain, and the memories for her are brought into sharp relief once again and she has to manage the pain of memory and uncertainty each time; not to mention the images of random dead bodies, found in the snowy peaks, sent to her rather weirdly on a regular basis by anonymous people/fans. Feelings once again have to be processed. She is now with Elliott and working as an artist, but Ashten’s ghost still looms large.
In the present there is commercial pressure because the Ashbirds have been a cash cow for many over such a long period. A 4th album is mooted 20 years down the line and there are plenty of people who would like to see that happen.
The book moves between past and present and nicely evokes the process of stardom and shows how ordinary lives are transformed. It also demonstrates that the reverberations of fame never really diminish, they just change over time. The story moves between periods and for me this worked quite well, there were occasions when I had to take stock of the timeline. The characters worked their way through the narrative but I felt I never really got to know them as much as I perhaps would have liked.
There are various locations forming backdrops to the stories and London and Everest are of course notable.
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