I wanted to take a light, quick read with me while spending a few days of reading/writing/coffeeing in France and this is perfect.
Even after reading it, I’m unsure of the title as there are only a few scenes based in parks but it is a great title! The story works around two main characters who find themselves living in the same building somewhere around Kings Heath/Moseley. Craig is a 20 something corporate who is on the first rung of the housing ladder and trying to advance his career. Susan has just left the only man she has ever been with after becoming stifled in a 20 year, domineering relationship.
They befriend each other as both have a distinct lack of friends, Craig after his best friend stole his girlfriend and Susan because she never had a life outside her husband and now, grown up son.
An easy read, I found it difficult to learn about so many, what I would call, weak characters in one book. Susan’s ex is a bully and Craig’s is manipulating. The only strong people are the two new café owners who offer Susan her first job since she left school.
So, I love that Susan does leave her husband but find it difficult to always route for her.
Joyfully, there are plenty of characters in the book, café customers, Craig’s colleagues and Susan’s non-friends from her suburban life and there is the old trick of using excerpts of a childhood diary to explain an adult character’s flaw.
Park Life makes you turn the pages to find characters steadily changing and that’s what makes it a good read.