Thursday 16 April 2015

No Regrets by Bernard O'Keeffe

What would happen if you spent a year accepting every invitation that came your way? Rick is about to find out...
He’s had a bad year. Sarah, his wife of nearly twenty five years, has walked out on him to move in with Colin. Perhaps they simply grew apart, perhaps the magic was no longer there, or perhaps, as his friend Jerry suggests, Rick has become boring. ,
This nagging thought, together with too much beer on New Year’s Eve and shock at the sudden death of his college friend Alex, leads Rick to a New Year’s resolution... To make the most of the time he has left, and show himself and his old friend Jerry that he is not boring, he will undertake a peculiar challenge: for a whole year he will accept every invitation that comes his way.
Any invitation. No excuses. No regrets.

No Regrets by Bernard O'Keeffe is published in paperback and ebook.

What an interesting idea for a story. No Regrets is quite different to my usual choice of book, but I was intrigued by the premise, and although it has taken quite some time to read it, I have enjoyed it.

Rick is in the pub with his mate Jerry It's New Year's Eve and life is not really going as planned. His wife has walked out on him, and is living with Colin, a P E teacher and one of his old university mates Alex was hit by a car and is dead.  Jerry seems to be implying that Rick is boring and that's why Susan walked out, Rick is outraged and determined to prove that Jerry is wrong.

They come up with a pretty ridiculous plan. Rick will not refuse any invitations that he receives, for the next twelve months. He will go to the parties that he usually avoids, he will do some sport, and even attend the college reunion. Rick thinks that this will be easy .............. think again Rick!

Bernard O'Keeffe's writing is comedic and refreshing. He creates some very awkward situations for Rick to engineer himself out of. Some invitations seem pretty straightforward, but Rick soon finds that one invitation leads to another, and another. He gets himself into quite a few scrapes.

Running through the comedy and propping up this story is the more serious story of Rick's marriage, and why it is failing. We also meet his two children and see the effect of the break-up on them.

I'll admit that I'd worked out just why Rick's wife left him long before he did which didn't bother me, but reinforced my assessment of Rick's character. He's pretty clueless really, but so damn stubborn. Despite some pretty hairy situations, he is determined to stick to the 'no regrets' challenge.

No Regrets is an entertaining read. The plot is simple and easy to follow and Rick is a bumbling, but loveable character, if a little dense!

My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

Bernard O’Keeffe teaches at St Pauls’ School, where he was Head of Sixth Form for many years. 
He graduated from Balliol College Oxford and worked in advertising before becoming a teacher; he was Head of English at Radley College before he moved to St Paul’s. 
He has reviewed for The Oxford Times and Literary Review and is an editor of The English Review
He has few claims to fame, but counts playing football with Nick Hornby, having lunch with George Best, teaching members of Mumford and Sons and Noah and The Whale, embarrassing himself on TV with a very stupid quiz show answer, giving Clare Balding interview practice, and nearly being recruited as a spy as amongst his most significant. 
He lives in Barnes with his wife and two children.

For more information, check out his website
Follow him on Twitter @BernardOKeeffe1

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