‘Reaching Out – Reaching In’ 

A debut novel by Geraint Ellis 

26 titled chapters: 115 thousand words: Genre: Literary Fiction 

‘Four women, two men: Six characters in search of themselves. They want to know what makes them tick – why they are the way they are. Pleasure is the aim: Discovery the game. Their minds are awash with ideas and wild speculation. But an ambush lies ahead. For while preoccupied with the idea of thinking about what it is to be human, they are about to make their greatest discovery, that ‘the heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of’.

So how is it different? 

It’s a tale of goodness and love –the perfect antidote to ‘misery writing’. 

Who is it aimed at? 

Discerning readers/ Women in particular. Book Club members, who will find an abundance of discussion points. A thinking-person’s fiction, it is informative and will appeal to both the ‘Pond-skater’ mind and the ‘Scuba diver’ mind. 

What is its appeal? 

The distinctive characters of the four women and two men: And how, despite their differences, they contribute in their individual ways to the ongoing search for happiness. And in doing this they make you laugh a lot and they make you cry a lot. But the true humour of the tale is provided by the friction between and the antics of the male duo, who, amongst other things, delve ever deeper into uncharted sexual terrain. (Meet both men in chapter 3) 

Is it a ‘Rags to Riches’ story? 

At first it is. There’s even a whiff of Great Expectations. But it transpires that the riches are anything but monetary. 

What stands out in the story? 

That we cannot exist without each other: (hence the title) and the unique explanation of Unconditional Love. 

So where's the contrast?

Death is the contrast. One person discovers it's imminent. Another has to learn how to cope (more than once) with the loss of a loved one.

Could it be adapted? Does it have cinematic potential? 

Set on the Isle of Anglesey and Snowdonia National Park, it has visual impact. Likewise, Miriam’s spectacular mansion on the banks of the Menai Straits gives it a fairytale quality. (Based on a real location) Written in novel form it is also play-like. The 26 titled chapters are so ‘scened’ that it could easily be played, while the period popular music references provide it with an inbuilt soundtrack. The narrator’s childhood recollections (chapter 4) of frantic preparations for War/The building of seven new military airfields/The arrival of thousands of medium and heavy bombers from the USA and the effect of the invasion of sex-starved G Is on the small rural community provide never to be repeated sights and experiences. (The military history is factual) 

How would you describe the style of writing? 

Narrator, first person: Then Miriam, first person (chapters 18 and 19), and Rebecca, first person (chapter 20) It’s often letter-like in form and involves the reader in the text. Through this we become acquainted with the three principle characters not so much by being told about them but by sharing their most intimate thoughts. Thus the reader gains advantage over the narrator. 

How will readers feel after they have read it? 

They will look at their present relationship and view their future circumstances with fresh eyes. 

Tell us more, but please be brief. 

There’s wit, there’s tragedy, and there’s a story of great love. But this is not merely a book about what happens, but about the way people relate and learn from one another, as each person tries to get to grips with the idea of thinking about what it is to be human. Their quest in life is to discover why they are the way they are. It’s an idyllic existence for them: Other commitments become secondary. The light-hearted openness of debate stimulates. But not everything is open, for the secrets of their hearts pose quite different questions … And in both love and death, their minds fail to make order of their hearts.