Book: This Is Nowhere by Chantelle Atkins
categories: Book, Mystery, Meaning of Life, Missing Persons, Mental Illness, Homelessness, Lurchers, Family Drama
Chantelle Atkins about this book: This Is Nowhere is a family drama and mystery about a fragile young mans quest for the truth. Jake Morgan ran away from home aged 16 and did not look back. Haunted by the disappearance of his mother in 1996, he has spent the past thirteen years jobless, homeless and rootless. Then one night he receives a phone call from his estranged sister Gina. Their father has fallen and she thinks it is about time Jake returned home. Down on his luck, and with loan sharks on his trail, Jake decides to return to the small village he grew up in. Here he finds the father he locked horns with so often as a teenager, is now a confused old man suffering from dementia. As the past returns to taunt him, Jake goes in search of clues about his mother's fraught life before she vanished, and in doing so, he is forced to face the truth about his own fragile hold on life. This is a story about Jake's struggle to find meaning in life, without the comfort of religion. The book is written in the third person, and the chapters alternate from the past to the present as Jake attempts to find the truth about what really happened to his mother Kate. The title is taken from a Neil Young song (Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere) which is a song about a young man returning to his home town. It also has meaning as the young Jake in the story often feels like he is not really here, or there, as the confusion of the adult lives play out around him. The cover was painted by a very talented friend of mine, and captures the spirit of the book perfectly. I think readers who enjoy books about the intricacies of family lives will enjoy this book, as well as those who enjoy a mystery novel. It touches on many subjects such as sibling rivalry, post-natal depression, suicide and mental illness, missing persons and dementia.
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