Tony Parsons is an accomplished British author. He is a successful male "chick lit" writer, if you will. His novel Man and Boy is a best seller in many countries.
His latest, Starting Over, introduces us to George Bailey, a 42 yr old with a wonderful wife, and two children. He is struggling with his relationship with his son and wishes he could "stop the clock", but is fairly content. He is also a cop, stuck on a desk job, longing for the excitement of the street again. When he goes out with his fellow officer Keith on a seemingly straightforward call that goes bad, life changes - in a big way, for all of them.
George suffers a heart attack and eventually receives a donor heart. As he recovers, he feels 'different'. He sees this as "a chance to start again." His wife doesn't see it quite the same way. "You can't collect some money and return to Go. That's not life. That's a board game."George is determined though....
The novel is a interesting look at what it means to 'live' life, what is valuable and the relationships and dynamics of a family in transition. It is all done in a fairly light hearted style, but serious enough to make you take a second look at some of your own choices.
I must admit though, that I found George to be a bit of a pompous git. I know this attitude was part of his 'change', but I found it really difficult to forget and get past as the story progressed. I thought the character study of his son Rufus, coming into manhood and finding his own path at the same time his father is losing his an interesting juxtaposition. Without providing spoilers, I'm not sure I agree with the ending. I think it all depends on your viewpoint. Anyone else read this one yet?
I found some of Parson's descriptions very poignant. In describing an older woman's magazine..."her selected TV programmes circled in red, like fences around her loneliness."
You can browse inside Starting Over.