The monotony of daily life can often make you wonder about the possibilities of running away from it all and starting your life over. The dreams you’ve always brushed off as being unrealistic, suddenly transforming into a potential reality, brushing amongst the generic thoughts of work, taxes, family and marriage. Most of us have been there, right?
Suddenly we see ourselves living in a forest somewhere, relying on nature to keep us alive. Or maybe you’ve always had dreams of running to LA and chasing the fantasy of becoming a star. Everyone has a dream of how their life would look if there weren’t constraints holding them back, but rarely does anyone actually give it a go.
However, for Richard Brown – a husband and parent to two children – his plot to escape has now become a reality. He plans to leave within the week.
The author, M. Jonathan Lee is a mental health awareness campaigner, and it was quite obvious to me from his writing that he knows what he’s talking about. It’s refreshing to see mental health appear in a book without being openly discussed. For those who have no experience with it, perhaps Richard and his wife Lisa were just an unsuitable pairing, and Rich was simply a coward for wanting to disappear. To me, he showed signs of anxiety and depression whereas Lisa’s issues reminded me of my struggle with OCD. I have experience with all three of these things, and they were very accurately portrayed. Maybe I’m reading too much into their behaviours but that’s what I took from the story groundwork.
Drift Stumble Fall is not a fast paced novel. It’s written about the mundane tasks, the restlessness, the theory that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In a lot of ways it’s actually very bleak. However, at no point did I ever want to put the book down. I NEEDED to know how his escape was going to pan out, and with every turn of the page I found myself becoming more and more involved in Richard’s life. A few tears were even shed.
Ultimately, this is one of those rare books that makes you question your entire existence. From the moment we leave the womb, society tells us to aspire to finding a great job, to marry someone you think you could put with for the next fifty years and soon after, to become a parent. But what about those of us who feel suffocated by the norm? This one’s for you.
Many thanks to Hideaway Fall and M. Jonathan Lee for providing me with an advanced copy! All thoughts are my own.