Highly acclaimed yet commonly unexplored author, Cynan Jones, illustrates the somber vision of a bleak future and what it is like to be a captive to one’s own responsibilities in, Everything I Found on the Beach. Just his second novel, Jones presents two men, Hold, a Welsh fishermen who has never lived his life without responsibilities and Grzegorz, a Polish migrant looking for a way to escape poverty and to better take care of his family.
Everything I Found on the Beach is nothing short of brilliantly honest. Through a truthful tale of despair, Jones captures two incredibly different yet undeniably compelling characters and how their choices to betterment ultimately connects their lives together to a dangerous destiny.
One thing that Jones was unbelievably skilled at producing was a complex yet simple type of suspense that will keep readers completely engrossed in the two character’s prospective future development. Whilst some might declare that this tale lacks many components of straightforwardness, readers will find that the most fascinatingly truthful words are hidden beneath the physical words that are presented on the page. And with that being said, this book is perfect for those who want to slowly savour and become captivated by the devastating realities of these two men.
This novel challenges the stomachs of readers in the most gut-wrenching of scenes but still retains the balance in simplicity through many moments of character development. And this works in Jones’ favor to not overwhelm or overdramatize this brutally honest story.
For readers who don’t venture far off into the thriller genre, they will discover that this piece masterfully crafts itself with elements added from other genres of literature. By doing very little research into the actual plot of the novel, readers will find that just by allowing the writing to take them further into the tale, they are able to enjoy every little aspect of the roller-coaster-ride of emotions with the characters. And by doing so, the overall delivery of the novel was more impactful than if one were to know more specifics about the plot.
Though the harrowing novel is just under 230 pages, the profound and elaborate storyline elongates the tale to the point where every second of those 230 pages is savoured and enjoyed thoroughly. One thing that readers who enjoy character development will appreciate from this novel is the fact that Jones explores the human condition in Grzegorz’s and Hold’s individual stories. The desperation to a brighter future is evident in both of these men’s lives and with their dismal living situations, Jones tugs at the heartstrings of readers by presenting the two men’s struggle between the right choices and the selfish choices that all of us humans encounter in our daily lives.
Everything I Found on the Beach never allows itself to stray away from brutally honest. Instead, the great Cynan Jones constructs a heartbreakingly relatable narrative of the tragic realities but also the youthfully hopeful dreams of Hold and Grzegorz towards the betterment of their futures.
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