Author : M. Jonathan Lee
Title : Drift Stumble Fall
Pages : 310
Publisher : Hideaway Fall
Publication date : April 12, 2018
Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.
Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of the grass is greener on the other side. Some people will watch their friends and neighbours rather enviously, wishing for their cars or their houses, or even their lives. It’s rather human, isn’t it? To want what someone else has? But you never really know what goes around behind closed doors, do you?
Richard is not a happy camper. He feels incredibly trapped in a life he didn’t specifically choose. Married and the father of two children, he often finds himself staring out of the window, watching his neighbour Bill and wishing for his quiet life. A life in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, full of peace and quiet and the ability to do what he wants whenever he wants to, instead of taking long baths and hiding himself away. And so Richard begins to plan his escape.
Neighbour Bill often stands by his window as well but for very different reasons. His life came to a rather abrupt stop years ago. All he’s done since then is wait, watching the world go by and his neighbours across the street. For the reader, it soon becomes apparent nothing is ever what it seems and you should always be careful what you wish for.
Drift Stumble Fall is a realistic, relatable, thought-provoking and sometimes quite emotional story about family, loss, feeling utterly trapped and never quite knowing what you have until it could be gone forever. It’s a raw, sometimes brutal but honest account of what I’m sure thousands of parents go through on a daily basis. When your children are bouncing balls of excitement and joy and you really just need a few minutes to yourself. When things about your partner start to annoy you and you wonder what you saw in them in the first place. It makes you appreciate and cherish what you have, your life and the people around you because it could all disappear in an instant.
I thoroughly enjoyed Broken Branches when it was published last year but I must say that for me, Drift Stumble Fall is even better. While this is a slow story, it held my attention throughout, despite some characters not exactly being all that likeable. But it’s beautifully written and I find I quite like the author’s writing style. It flows and feels natural and I can’t wait to read more by M. Jonathan Lee!
My thanks to the publisher for my copy!
Drift Stumble Fall is available for purchase!