Sunday 19 January 2020

#BlogTour A Degree of Uncertainty by Nicola K. Smith

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour A Degree of Uncertainty by Nicola K. Smith.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win 10 x A Degree of Uncertainty (Open to UK Only)
About the Author
Nicola K Smith is a freelance journalist contributing to a number of titles including the The Times,,, BBC Countryfile and Sainsbury’s Magazine. She lives in Falmouth, Cornwall, a town which inspired A Degree of Uncertainty, although it is set in the fictional Cornish town of Poltowan.

Follow @NicolaKSmith on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Goodreads, Buy A Degree of Uncertainty

About the book
A Cornish town is slowly fracturing under the weight of its growing university…
Prominent businessman, Harry Manchester will not stand by and see his beloved hometown turned into a student ghetto — and many residents and students are relying on him.

But Harry’s stance sets him on a collision course with Dawn Goldberg, formidable Vice Chancellor of Poltowan University, who is set on doubling its size and cementing her career legacy.

As Harry’s marriage falls apart, his business comes under threat, and fellow traders accuse him of halting progress, Dawn is battling her own demons, not least the need to live up to her late father’s expectations and erase the memory of his tragic death.

There can only be one victor in this battle for the soul of a close-knit community…


Although Harry fights a valiant battle to preserve the sanctity of his town, which makes him an upstanding citizen and hero in the minds of many people, there is another side to him though. The man with a crumbling marriage, although one could say he has his cake and is eating it too with a wife he returns to for comfort and the girlfriend for all his other needs.

It's easy to view Harry as the most pivotal character in the story, but in the background lurks the all-consuming depression of his wife. It's something Harry doesn't quite comprehend and indeed has run away from in a way. The author doesn't let the depression take position as a main character. Instead there is this sense of encroachment, of powerlessness and futility. Those moments aren't demanding per se, but they are powerful.

His nemesis, Dawn, is fighting to expand the housing situation for a growing population of students at the university - in direct opposition to what Harry and the majority of the town wants. It's a bit like a reading a gossipy article in a local newspaper.

It's a contemporary read about the shadow of depression and the fight for a small town.

I was a little surprised by the sexist tropes used by the author to define both Harry and Dawn as characters. They don't serve any purpose other than to detract from the more poignant storylines.

Smith makes valid points about the way a growing university town changes the way of life for the non-uni residents. When the landscape is changed to make space for more students than there are rooms or housing, the retailers and shops accommodate young people instead of the year round population. Things change in a way that makes life more difficult or not sustainable for non-uni residents. Giving both sides of the argument helps put things into perspective for people who don't have to deal with this.

Buy A Degree of Uncertainty at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Compass Publishing; pub date 29 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win 10 x A Degree of Uncertainty (Open to UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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