Ashley Hames first novel entitled, “Seven Days to say I Love You” takes you through the week leading up to his father’s death. It is personal to the point of uncomfortable at times because Hames style drags you into the room.
Standing next to someone while they fight the internal battle against insomnia and depression while struggling to verbally express feelings of love for someone that they know they are about to lose is very tough. Despite this, you want to be there for Hames. You are brought into the moment and at times believe you can help.
As the book begins and you begin to grasp what you have taken on but don’t know how far the story can go given its deeply personal nature. Unlike some books of a similar ilk, it is not difficult to get into and within pages you find yourself looking for any opportunity to carry on reading. It reads quickly and easily but at no point does it lose its sensitivity or poignancy.
The book deals with loss with the maturity of hindsight but Hames doesn’t shy away from using his own experiences to illustrate why at points in his life his behaviour changed, such as his abstinence from drugs following the death of his friend.
Hames deals with grief in a no frills manner and people who have experienced loss will be able to relate to his honest descriptions of the weeks and months that followed his father’s passing.
Throughout the book you want to reach out to Hames and his family and give them a hug. This sounds painfully simplistic and not objectively analytical but you find yourself so attached that the instinctive human reaction is to want to reach out and hug them.
Hames has self-published this book and it is only available on the kindle but even for those like me who love the printed word, it shouldn’t stop you giving this one a go. Many tears were shed on tube journeys reading it on my phone and I can only recommend it to others.
You can buy the book here.