Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Surviving Me by Jo Johnson.
Enter the Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me & five Surviving Me fridge magnets (Open INT) – 1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me, 5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet.About the Author
I’m very excited that my debut novel ‘Surviving Me’ is due to be published on the 14 November. The novel is about male minds and what pushes a regular man to the edge. The novel combines all the themes I can write about with authenticity.
I qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1992 and initially worked with people with learning disabilities before moving into the field of neurology in 1996. I worked in the NHS until 2008 when I left to write and explore new projects.
I now work as an independent clinical psychologist in West Sussex.
Jo speaks and writes for several national neurology charities including Headway and the MS Trust. Client and family related publications include, “Talking to your kids about MS”, “My mum makes the best cakes” and “Shrinking the Smirch”.
In the last few years Jo has been offering psychological intervention using the acceptance and commitment therapeutic model (ACT) which is the most up to date version of CBT. She is now using THE ACT model in a range of organisations such as the police to help employees protect their minds in order to avoid symptoms of stress and work related burnout.
About the book
Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man.
Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.
All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water. If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.
This book tackles hard issues such as male depression, dysfunctional families and degenerative diseases in an honest, life-affirming and often humorous way. It focuses particularly on the challenges of being male in today’s world and explores how our silence on these big issues can help push men to the brink.
In a way it was refreshing to follow the mental and physical struggles of a man, as opposed to a woman. Perhaps more so because it wasn’t just on a shallow level and really went into the nitty-gritty of both. And forgive me for the sigh of relief because it also wasn’t the normal – man sinks into deviant or salacious behaviour when life throws him a few hard balls.
Instead I can imagine readers really feeling for Tom, especially when he has flashbacks to his troubled formative years, which have made him a little less secure when it comes to believing in himself and given his self-esteem a knock.
The pressure put on Tom by his wife and his job gets to the point where he hides instead of facing his issues, a coping mechanism he has retained since childhood. What you don’t admit to never happened, right? The humiliations at work have led to a deceptive life and the race to create a baby has more or less unmanned him. It’s not a pretty picture.
It’s a contemporary read about self-worth, mental health, but ultimately one about family. Johnson gives a delicate and accurate picture, without the unnecessary dressing and gratuitous details of a man on the edge of despair and a family about to crumble with the weight of the secrets they are hiding.
I have focused more on one character and their story in my review, because his story loomed over the rest and I found myself more drawn to his emotional turmoil. Or perhaps his story was enough.
Enter the Giveaway to Win two signed copies of Surviving Me & five Surviving Me fridge magnets (Open INT) – 1st Prize – 2 winners each winning a signed copy of Surviving Me, 5 Runners Up – each winning a Surviving Me Fridge Magnet
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