Friday 30 June 2023

Book review : Evergreens - Liam Brown

If asked to look back at the best moments in my life, I would probably list off a whole host of memories of unforgettable nights out in my student days, exotic travels, falling in love, having my children and seeing them grow up. All of these things happened in my twenties and early thirties but would I have liked time to stop for me back then? Such is the hefty question put to the characters in Liam Brown's Evergreens.

After attending a free lecture about a clinical trial called Evergreens, twenty-something Ben decides to sign on the dotted line, happy to have the opportunity to never grow old. On-off girlfriend Sophie is not part of the project though so while Ben stays young forever, she ages as she moves through her life, taking steps to fill her time with happiness and personal progress. While Ben would seemingly have more potential to live the ultimate life, he doesn't manage to find his own definition of happiness, shifting from one unfulfilling job to the next and consuming vast quantities of beer.

I found it hard to really warm to Ben, who has this great gift and fails to take advantage of it. While Sophie starts off the same as him, living through a pandemic and becoming dissatisfied with her life means that she takes control of her situation and makes changes to provide herself with a happy life. I felt much more inspired by Sophie and her less-is-more outlook rather than Ben who had it all and totally wasted it.

While the book features on the past experiences of Ben and Sophie, some parts, written in italics, show us where they are now, in the year 2070. Ben is in a coma in a hospital bed with his ageing life partner Sophie looking over him. This peek into the future is not very reassuring, with mentions of climate change and environmental problems but also AI nurses replacing real human health care. I don't think I'd sign up to the Evergreens project in these conditions !

star rating : 4/5

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Legend Press (15 Jun. 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 302 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 191564383X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1915643834

Disclosure : I received a free copy of the book in order to share my honest opinion.

1 comment:

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