The Ground Will Catch You by Dave Powning.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, the blurb on the back is intriguing enough but doesn’t really give much away in regards to storyline. The main protagonist is Steve Hollis, a sales man who sells advertising space and doesn’t seem to fit in with his peers. He spends most of his days fantasising about Judoka.
A chance meeting with another man once again sparks his passion for the sport and gives him a sense of belonging in another wise round world in which he feels square. Slowly but surely Steve reveals more of his past to Jack and we get a greater understanding of this young man with an obsession for order and cleanliness. What blossoms is a genuine, heart warming friendship, but all that is thrown off course when he meets the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, Emily. An interesting character in her own right, but a character I struggled to like.
This is where the story begins to develop this slow sense of tension building, which I have only ever felt when watching a film directed by Shane Meadows. This sense that something terrible is going to happen but you don’t know whom to or when. Dave Powning has written an incredibly intriguing character with Steve Hollis, one that genuinely leaves you wondering when his sense of well-disciplined calm is going to crumble. But he’s also written a character that we can all relate to, a character that made a mistake and consequently turned his back on his true passion to pursue a career and life he had no real invested interest in.
There are moments that made me laugh, especially when he’s at dinner parties or outings and finds it hard to endure the monotonous conversations in order to come across as partly ‘normal’ but there are some darker elements too and Dave has written these with an intelligence and honest observation that will leave you pondering your own decisions in life.
My only criticism would be that the ending lacked something, almost wrapping things up too completely and nicely for my liking. I think I would have preferred a little more mystery to allow me to make my own mind up about what happened to some of the characters. Saying that it’s an incredibly well written debut novel that shows a lot of promise for David Powning, who clearly knows how to captivate an audience (I read it in a matter of days) I’d recommend this to people who are interested in a little mystery and those looking for some indie authors with a lot of talent.
Star Rating out of 5: 4.5
I should also mention that if you purchase David’s book he is donating 10% of the profits to Breast Cancer Charities, which for a self published author is incredibly generous and humbling. If you would like to learn more about David then check out his website http://inkwrapped.com/
‘Directing our hope pointlessly skyward, ready to make a deal, to be granted that revelation.’
Until next time, happy reading.