Departure – Tom Ward

In a heartbeat

Michael’s life is good.

He’s in love and about to leave home for university. Things couldn’t be better.

Then a natural disaster hits Britain.

With his family and friends dead, and no help forthcoming from the government, Michael sets off, alone, aiming to reach the potential safety of the continent. Along the way, he forges a new family amongst the ruins of England when he is joined by former teacher, David, parish council head, Judith, and Zanna, a student.

As the group travels south, what remains of society deteriorates around them, revealing the darkest aspects of human desire. Amongst so much darkness, Michael must fight to uphold his own ideals.

A tale of coming of age on a road where rules no longer apply


This is certainly an unusual twist on a coming of age story, and for a debut from a young up and coming author I found the tale captivating, I loved this story.

‘A Departure’ from the very first page kept me constantly questioning what would happen next, how would the journey unfold, what will happen to the characters, what will happen to Britain? a very thought provoking plot which kept me riveted word by word. I had no idea how the story would end, which I really do enjoy when reading a novel, I like the suspense with the twist that is so unexpected it comes as a shock. The twists and turns en route of this journey kept the plot alive and the reader engrossed.

The main character of the story, Michael really stood out from the beginning and it was a refreshing change to read a coming of age story from the male perspective. Michael has been portrayed as a beautiful young man, one who we watch grow and develop as the gripping story unfolds before our eyes. The new characters he meets along the way all touched a place within me in their own unique way and I found I grew to admire the main character more and more as they slowly touched a place within him too.

I read with passion from start to finish, I found the story consumed me, wrapped itself around me taking a hold and gripping me tight. I highly recommend this read, it is one of those stories that builds, exposing sneak peeks along the way with shocking twists and turns throughout. An excellent debut novel brought to us from a very talented author.

I feel somewhere in the future we should see this story in film. I, for one, want front row seats.


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