Lucy Nichol: Parklife

Today I’m joining the blog tour for Parklife. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book.

Blurb:

From the writer of The Twenty Seven Club…

Dumped, drunk and desperate – will a job serving ice-cream at the park save Emma from herself?

It’s 1996. Emma’s been rejected by the man she loves and sacked from the job she hates but desperately needs. Feeling like she’s hit a new low, she finds herself serving ice-cream and phoney smiles at the local park.

Best mate Dave’s loved up, and her dad’s finally emerging from years of unemployment and a deep depression. Everyone’s life is on the up while Emma’s plummeting towards rock bottom.

Every day she gives a free ‘99 to the lonely old man who sits on the park bench and reminds herself that life could be much worse.

But soon, even sprinkles and monkey’s blood can’t hide the truth. She’s in deep trouble and losing sight of the edge. Who will help her up when she falls?

This is the follow up to The Twenty Seven Club (which was described by Stylist Magazine as ‘a moving exploration of mental health, music myths and why love can help us through’). Parklife can also be read as a standalone tale.

Review:

I’m a huge fan of 90s music and the general Britpop scene so I was drawn to Parklife straight away and I loved being taken back to 1996. Lucy Nichol is brilliant at evoking these memories and drawing us into the lives of her characters. 

I haven’t read The 27 Club (but I will!) so Parklife is my first introduction to Emma and Dave. I found it very easy to get to know them despite not having read the prequel and I loved their relationship, their humour and the way they are always there for each other whatever happens. I’ve been in Dave’s position before so I feel I naturally related to him better, but overall the characters are really well developed and I became genuinely interested in their lives. I can’t write about characters without mentioning Emma’s family and Dor and Les, who are wonderful creations who I also enjoyed spending time with alongside the central characters. 

Parklife is not easy to read and it does cover some important issues. Nichols has researched the issues really thoroughly and she has done a fantastic job of getting inside Emma’s (and occasionally Dave’s) head. The first person perspective really helped me to understand their thoughts and feelings better than I otherwise would have done and read more sympathetically. There are some really poignant moments in Parklife that really brought the messages home to me. 

Parklife is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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