Barracuda: just the kind of fish I needed for tea

Love Reading managed to light up my life by kindly sending me Christos Tsiolkas’s new offering: Barracuda, to review. The novel couldn’t have landed at a better time in my life. I’ve completed my review for them, which is aimed at helping a reader chose to engage with this spectacular novel, this can be found on their website soon:

I then felt it necessary to write my own more personal review, and explain just why the novel touched me on such a deep level.

The reason for which my maintenance of this blog has been somewhat lacking recently is because I’m currently working hard on setting up a business. I unfortunately still have my day job which takes a full 12 hours out of my day, but around this, in the small snippets of time that lie either side of this huge chunk that’s swallowed up every day I’m busy toiling away, attempting to bring my passions and dreams to fruition. This initially was great fun, I found myself waking up with gusto, eager to start the day; but now I’ve reached the tricky part. The part where getting up at 6am in the morning is less fun when you know everyone else is still cosy in bed asleep.  When I’m up late at night alone I can’t help but wonder and fret, is this really where I should be spending all my time and savings, what happens if it doesn’t work out?! And then Barracuda lands on my doorstep and I begin to read about a young man, Danny Kelly, who’s up at 4am every morning training to become an Olympic champion swimmer. His whole life is structured around his dream. As I read about his dedication and commitment I felt rather pathetic complaining, at least I’m not up at 4am every day! It was inspiring to read of someone who works that hard in pursuit of a goal. I sadly don’t often meet people like that, probably because they’re locked away somewhere working hard.  This book gave me the much needed reminder that I’m not the only one up at ungodly hours of the day toiling my way towards a sometimes distant dream.

I won’t be ruining the story if I tell you that Danny Kelly sadly doesn’t reach his dreams, his worst fear becomes a harsh reality; although he doesn’t deal with this in the best of ways  life does go on, he does survive and eventually finds some kind of peace. I’m now very conscious that there will undoubtedly be hiccups and difficulties along the way but it’s how I choose to deal with these, and overcome these that will matter.  In the meantime I shall continue to toil away with renewed gusto. I might even actually learn to swim properly too.

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