The Cuckoos of Batch Magna by Peter Maughan

I have been known to try some books which are out of my comfort league, at least to cursory inspection. It is rarer that I like them because I am pretty set in my ways (even if that makes me sound older than my actual years). This was one of those odd cases.

We are introduced to a small town near the Welsh border in England and in this town we are further introduced to the odd set of people living on houseboats. This random group of people who over time have become family to each other are facing eviction. They band together to curse the faceless new owner of the estate. This new owner surprised me as well, his entire story arc was pretty unique considering the layers that make him who he is versus who he is thought to be. When I first started the book I thought maybe that I would find the descriptions too coarse for my liking, as I sometimes do (which is a personal thing). I was mistaken in this assumption, although the caricatures of all the people and their baser instincts are described, but in a realistic fashion. Their underlying humanity and better behaviour is also shown to us as the situations demand.

The humour was light and in the background of all those people just living average happy lives. They deal with setbacks with both anger and bluster but once that is spent, they just put their head down and make actual plans.

I could list the people here, but I won’t because the introductions are part of the plot and a way to acclimatise ourselves with the author’s narrative style. I have to say I enjoyed this book and look forward to knowing what happens next.

I am glad I got a chance to read this thanks to access by the publishers and NetGalley but the review is my completely unbiased opinion.

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