The Cuckoo of Awareness by Andrew Brush, as with many first novels, echos the author’s real life experiences. The main themes of the book: Love, Grief, Mental Health, Humour and Compassion – are handled with tenderness and bravery. The chapters are short and written in poetic prose and whilst the writing deals with delicate subjects surrounding grief, the loss of a child and attempted suicide, humour and farce occupy nearly every page. The humour acts as a form of relief and it’s something Andrew employs in his everyday life as a coping mechanism.
Andrew’s wife, Sophie, suffers from Huntington’s Disease and he and his fifteen-year-old son, Noah, have been her full-time carers for the last ten years. Andrew also lost a cousin and a nephew in the Falklands War and the effect of this heartbreak and bereavement on his family is explored in his writing with great poignancy. When people like Andrew are so brutally honest about life’s greatest challenges, it’s a comfort to others who are suffering as well as a reminder to the rest of us to count our blessings. All the proceeds from the book are going to the Huntington Disease Association.
As Andrew says:
“I enjoy using absurdism as humour to entertain the reader and myself. I want the reader to laugh. I am an advocate of the use of poetry & prose to drive the messages of the book: Love, Grief, Mental Health, Humour, Compassion. I want the reader to cry or feel emotion. I’ve drawn on my personal life experiences alongside my business enterprise experiences and passion for the behavioural sciences in my character development. Why do people behave as they do? This has made me more compassionate and understanding. I want the reader to empathise.”
About The Cuckoo of Awareness:
Following hard on the heels of tragedy and a botched suicide attempt, The Cuckoo of Awareness has flown in to the Cotswolds to rescue the life of Tom Atkins – whether he likes it or not.
If that wasn’t bad enough, at the same time a ‘Black Swan’ event – the ‘Battle of Wellington Square’ – the most uplifting peacetime civilian massacres in history – was coming to the doorstep of his home in ‘Cheltenhamshire’.
The 8th Wonder of the World is about to explode, GCHQ has gone rogue, the Machine of Happiness has been invented, Barry the ‘Birdman’ Jones, the UK’s leading twitcher is on his way to ‘Welly,’ local hero Bob ‘Sitting Bull’ Brady is on the warpath, Wongo the Wongolian Wonder Dog is just Wongoing around, and the Moom Monsters are on their way to Murria…
All of this amounts to just one thing: Andrew Brush’s debut novel The Cuckoo of Awareness is a delightfully unpredictable riot of black absurdism – delivered in an imaginative rapid-fire poetic prose style – that is at once very funny, profound and affecting.
Order your copy online here.