Man & Other Natural Disasters by Nerys Parry is nothing at all like I expected. I was drawn in from the following quote in the prologue:
"Fire, the most decisive element, devoured my sister first. Not long after her last ember had cooled, Earth swallowed my father. Then, not to be outdone, Air, the breath and will of the heavens themselves, swept up my mother. And so you see, by some democracy of the Gods, I have been left to the Waters." ~Nerys Parry
As the story progressed I found that the story was much deeper and more complex than what I originally thought. We meet Simon, a man with little relationships who spends his time locked in a basement office as he mends worn out books. Having experienced several tragic events in his life, he prefers to be a recluse so that he won't risk losing anyone else important to him.
Soon Minerva enters his life and old feelings start to emerge as she shares a striking resemblance to his dead sister. Just as things are starting to look up and he feels the faintest glimmer of love, he arrives home to a startling scene that causes his mind to snap. It is at this point that the book took a turn that I hadn't expected.
Nerys Parry has done a great job allowing us to peak inside the mind of Simon and you will feel the ups, downs, confusion and more as if you are a character in the story. It was hard for me to keep up with the story at times because one paragraph would be in present tense and the next paragraph would jump to a flashback but over all this was an interesting and great read.