About the Book
Claire Halford’s life hits rock bottom when she is caught stealing food from Tesco Express. Left alone by her husband with two small children and an STI, her suicide music is starting to play louder in her head.
A chance meeting brings them together. As a mystery virus from China starts to run riot across the country, their world’s collide and they find they have more in common than they knew.
Set in the early months of 2020, Maybe It’s About Time is a story about the difficulty of changing lives for the better. Starting as a funny and satirical view of the egocentric world of professional services, it gives way to a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that rejuvenates Marcus and Claire, giving them both hope for a better future.
Maybe It’s About Time by Neil Boss is set in the UK in 2020 – a year that will be staying on all our minds probably for a very long time. It was a telling time, as we all know, with a lot of ‘once in a generation’ level disruptions, from Brexit to Covid.
The first of our main characters, Marcus, is not exactly likeable. He is of the fairly grumpy sort, very set in his ways, the kind of guy you would really hate to have to deal with. He is snappy and not happy with how things are, but not really up for changing things. He dislikes other people’s food or music choices (even his wife’s) and thinks he knows best and is better than anybody else. Despite all that though he certainly feels very real and the author has done a very good job bringing him to life. When I’m commuting to and from work and I see a grumpy-looking business man sitting in the train in front of me, I can imagine that’s Marcus. Even though this might sound very negative (and I did dislike him as a person instantly), the writing is light and humorous, with a lot of sarcasm sprinkled in.
I kind of feel like Marcus is basically a caricature of your average, fairly well-off modern English business man. Jaded, irritable, nothing is ever quite right or how he wants it, but what will he do about it? Well, he’ll moan a bit, he’ll complain a bit, he’ll pass a few barbed comments at somebody or will be muttering to himself under his breath and generally be right on the limits of being borderline rude under a veneer of politeness before he then just bends over and takes it. Whatever ‘it’ may be … veggie lasagne instead of steak, not the right radio station for his noble music taste, or whatever his latest issue is.
Even though Markus is so annoying (lol) and altogether hard to imagine as a husband, father, and business partner, I found myself wanting to find out what would happen next, what exactly it is this book will be about. I generally felt it was a bit too long and felt like it was dragging in places, especially at the start, when I was wondering where this would all lead. At the same time though, the author’s writing skills are really impressive, and I kept on turning the pages.
Then we meet Claire, a young mother with two young children in a shop. Left by her partner and cut off from her family, she has to make ends meet, but still, it isn’t enough. And so, Claire does what she feels she has to do in order to feed her children: she steals – and gets caught. Claire is a very likeable young woman, but not only in that way she seems to be Marcus’s polar opposite. She is also living in poverty. When both characters meet, at first we see two worlds collide, but then we find out that they might have more in common than it would at first seem.
I find it really hard to write this review, because as I said the writing is really very good, and I kept turning the pages and wanted to find out what happens, but at the same time it is generally rather pessimistic and left me feeling a bit down to be honest. I don’t know if I can really explain this feeling, but I’ll try. I think it’s because I tend to pick up books to escape real life and I want to be entertained and live through different emotions, but I prefer happy endings and not to read about the same bad stuff we actually live through and see and hear on the news about every day. Reliving the worst moments of Covid, the same fears, panic, uncertainties that we actually lived through in 2020 – even though it is very well done and the author found a great way of representing this extraodinary time, it just isn’t something I’d normally pick up when looking for my next read. If you enjoy this link to reality though this might be the perfect book for you! However, the book is not only a mere mirror of reality. Yes, the negative parts and hardships of real life were there, but there was also this satirical undertone that proved it’s still fiction.
How can I end this review without leaving you thinking this is a bad book? It’s not, and I will give it 4 stars because the writing and the plot and the characters do deserve it. It’s not the most uplifting story of all times with the most likeable characters out there, and perhaps it’s a bit too slow and too focused on descriptions of everyday things that don’t really help in getting us to the point, but it is still very gripping and had me turn the pages. That means somehow it did entertain me a lot. No matter what, I did get attached to the characters and wanted to accompany them on this journey through their lives.
4 stars from me!
Thank you all so much for reading!