A World Apart

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A World Apart By Caro FraserCaro Fraser has been a favourite author of mine for quite a few years now. In her books, she usually writes about a set of barristers who all work together in London. However, occasionally, she tends to write a ‘one off’ type of novel with different characters and nothing to do with the law! ‘A World Apart‘ is one of these ‘one offs’.

The story centres on Mark Mason, a forty something businessman who appears to be going through a midlife crisis. He has been married to his wife Paula for about half his life and they have two almost grown up sons. He also is partner in a successful waste compacting company. So, on the surface it appears that life is very good for Mark!

However, appearances can be deceptive. Beneath the successful exterior, Mark is gradually feeling a sense of panic. He doesn’t know what has happened to his life and he doesn’t know where he wants it to go! All of these feelings of uncertainty culminate on his embarking on an affair with Nicky, one of his sales team. Although I say an affair, it is actually over virtually as soon as it has begun. Unfortunately though Paula finds out and the fallout from the affair is widespread.

The rest of the book centres on Mark as he tries to come to terms with what has happened and he has to decide what he wants in his future. It is interesting as we witness all the different emotions and thought processes he goes through. The book does seem to be all about Mark as there is very little time when the story follows Paula or their sons and how they are feeling. I find this interesting because although on the surface, Mark is the ‘wrong-doer’ as he is the one who had the affair, it is Mark that the reader’s sympathies tend to lie with. Caro Fraser does not give anything away in terms of Mark’s intentions, and right up to the end you have no idea what he will decide to do with his life.

I found this to be an interesting slant to the story as most of the books I read tend to tell the story from the woman’s point of view, and here I was, seeing things from an entirely different angle. It does seem a bit strange for Caro Fraser to have written this way as she is a woman herself, and therefore one would imagine that it would have been easier to tell the story from Paula’s point of view. It does work though and is an interesting insight into the way that a man might see things.

I did enjoy the book and found the main character, Mark, both interesting and sympathetic. I did find it a bit slow in places though and it did not grip me as much as some of her other novels have done. I guess this is because this is a story where not much happens, as it’s really about one man’s inertia and inability to drive his life in the way he would like. Having said that though, it is a good read and one that I would recommend. If you do read it and enjoy it, I would definitely recommend that you read some of Caro Fraser’s earlier books too!

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World Apart (A)
by Caro Fraser

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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