Charlotte Walker, LoveReadingUK ambassador
Ever Rest by Roz Morris is a beautifully written story that focuses on the after-effects of the loss of a larger-than-life character. Rock musician Ashten dies on a mountain-climbing expedition and his fiancée, bandmates and bodyguard have been left with a hole in their lives that has never been healed – twenty years on the past is continually dragged back up each time a body is recovered.
We learn more about Elza, Hugo, Steve and Robert, their history and connection to The Ashbirds and the paths their lives have taken since the band’s abrupt end. We see them struggle to get their lives back together while the spectre of Ash, and renown in general, prevents them from finding complete normalcy.
The thing that struck me the most in this narrative is how it handles the theme of fame. Someone, or a group of people can be very famous, known around the world even for a single thing or for the briefest time, and yet that single accomplishment can both haunt and define every other aspect of their lives. And if that period of fame ended in tragedy, then feelings of loss and grief seem destined to be ever present. In some ways it reminded me of documentaries and stories prevalent at the moment in recent celebrity history – breakdowns or struggles of reinvention, unsympathetic media portrayal and fans wanting to relive the single highest moment. I think the author did a great job in emphasising that there’s more to people than that. And each character in the book is filled out and made three dimensional flawlessly.
I really enjoyed learning about each character, and while I found myself drawn to Elza’s story the most, I found it easy to settle into learning more about Robert, Hugo and Steve when it was their time to share their story. I think that Ever Rest is an endearing story of loss, grief and acceptance in a unique setting of rock-star fame.