Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for How We Got To Today by Ben Ellis
How can you find love, when you’ve lost sight of yourself?
Sheridan doesn’t know what he looks like. There’s nothing wrong with his vision, it’s just that he’s the only person in the world who can’t see his own face.
Despite this, he has it all going for him – a good job as an optometrist, a nice home, and a wonderful girlfriend. All until Heidi, totally out of the blue, dumps him.
And to make matters worse, not only has she broken his heart, but she’s disappeared. Distraught, Sheridan begins to search for her, and ends up finding himself along the way. . .
This is a story about how sometimes it’s the people closest to us that see us the best and, if we lose sight of ourselves, can tell us who we really are.
Oh, but I adored this book. It was just what I needed, right at the very moment I needed it. It is, at times poignant, reminding us that we often don’t appreciate how those closest to us see us. That they sometimes know us better than we know ourselves as we stumble through life, moment to moment without taking the time to look within. It really got me thinking.
Sheridan is such a likeable character. As we begin to see his story unfold, I just couldn’t understand how Heidi could leave him. It made me wonder just what had gone on. He is a little strange. An outsider looking in might find his obsession on his face to be somewhat alarming. It could easily be misconstrued as vanity and self obsession. Of course the reader knows from early on that Sheridan is suffering from a very unusual problem. He can not see his own face. Never has. When he looks into a mirror, a reflection, a painting, photograph, even a caricature, he sees just a blur. I think this aspect was one of the things I found most intriguing about the story. Of course one can delve deeper, as Sheridan certainly does, to search for the underlying meaning in such a condition but for the story, it certainly adds a unique edge.
As well as this ailment, Sheridan’s gentleness was appealing. He seemed a thoroughly nice chap and to watch him so heartbroken by his loss was indeed a refreshing approach to the male point of view. As the story went on I couldn’t decide if I wanted him to find someone new or get back together with Heidi, or possibly neither option. I did want him to find happiness though. I felt he deserved it. Indeed this is a story about love. Lost love and finding love but also learning to accept ourselves and even learn to love ourselves. How often do we really look at ourselves. I mean really look. We take fleeting glances in the mirror, mostly to check we are presentable to the outside world. Moments when we may have been caught on camera can leave us wondering who that strange person is. Do I really sound/look like that?
All in all this was a wonderful read. Funny, heartwarming and uplifting. In some ways Ben’s writing reminds me of Nick Hornby, perhaps it’s the snatches of humour scattered throughout, the genuine, warts and all style and characterisation. He captures a snapshot of a life beautifully, it sweeps you away and then leaves you feeling warm to the bone. I absolutely loved it and will miss having a little bit of Sheridan in my life.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and to Netgalley and Accent Press for gifting me a review copy.