By Rachel Atherton Charvat
Rated: 4 stars ****
I am delighted to be closing the Red/Black blog tour with Random Things Tours, with a review of this twisty book as the roulette table spins as Sarah’s life plays out to an unexpected end.
Follow through the blurb to my review and then discover a bit more about the author and a buy link.
Sarah Hughes. Wife, mother, secret gambler.
Her life is one of stability and security. Settled in Cheltenham, married for over twenty years, lovely children but her inner trauma of losing a child in a car accident in which she was driving is reopened when her husband accepts a full-time posting to a military camp in Germany. Upon arriving in Germany, her underlying depression returns and she starts gambling online. The isolated posting and pressures of army life exacerbates her struggle and exposes the frailties of her marriage.
The stakes rise as her gambling escalates and she starts to realise her husband is not all she believed…
Red/ Black is a debut novel that is a carefully constructed story that deals with very modern themes of mental health and gambling.
Red/Black in the title cleverly resembles a roulette table. The promise of a sort of glamour of the roulette tables of the casinos that often isn’t a reality, with people who gambling who aren’t the of the film star depiction. Red/ Black shows the unravelling of Sarah Hughes life and red/black becomes symbolic of the gambles Sarah makes in life. She’s just an average wife and mother in Cheltenham and life in a new place should have been wonderful, except her husband takes a full-time job in the military in Germany. There is the tragic loss of her son and her marriage can best be described as fragile and deception is at play, which are big themes. The book shows the fagilities of life and mental health as her life spirals and as she is in a strange place, there is no one instant to help. The mental toll is written, sometimes taking readers into some of the more minute detail. It’s an emotional read and by no means light, it tackles heavy-weight subjects that everyone has heard of so often in people’s lives or perhaps experienced something of it themselves. The book is however very well-written and takes readers on a great story of a darker side of life.
Overall this is a thought-provoking, well-written book with modern themes that are hard-hitting, with the seemingly great life of security and family, shown in the back-story and the unravelling as life events happen, with twists and turns. That black/red of the roulette table of life keeps spinning to an ending I did not see coming!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Atherton-Charvat is originally from Norfolk and later moved to Gloucestershire.
She is married to a serving Army Officer and is currently accompanying him on an overseas posting in Turkey. She has previously worked as a history teacher and a photographer, exhibiting her work in the UK, USA and Cyprus.
Red/Black is her debut novel.