I was intrigued when I was asked if I would like to review 42 Days because it is rare that we hear the “dad’s perspective” on losing their baby. So far, I haven’t had chance to fully read the book but I have flicked through and read a couple of chapters. Certainly a book that took me on a journey… his journey.
42 Days is the often funny, sometimes touching, undeniably heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive story of a recovering cynic as he narrates the story of his son’s life – from birth through to adulthood – in just 42 days. It’s the most honest book about fatherhood, marriage and death you’re ever going to read – brutal, funny, heartbreaking, inspiring, bleak and uplifting – all in the space of six weeks, taking place in the summer of 2002. Written by AJ Roberts, 42 Days is a fictionalised novel inspired by his very real experiences of losing his baby. The book will be published by Matador on November 28 2015 as a paperback and eBook and available in all good book shops and online.
42 Days By AJ Roberts
Can you remember what the weather was like over the Golden Jubilee weekend of 2002? Remember what went to Number 1 in the charts on the Sunday? Or the score between England and Sweden in their World Cup football match? Do you know what weighs only one pound and eight ounces? Rob does, he remembers all of them very well.
• Lovely and sunny
• Eminem with ‘Without Me’
• 1-1(Campbell ’24: Alexanderson ’59)
• A baby boy born at 27 weeks
42 Days is an emotionally-charged book that brings the unimaginable loss of a newborn child into vivid focus using an astounding level of humour and wit. This is a story inspired by the real-life loss of AJ Roberts’ son, a story that will leave you in tears of laughter and sadness in almost equal measure, a story written amidst the voracity of grief, but allowed to simmer with time. 42 Days is a fictional story, but you can’t keep telling yourself it isn’t all real to quell the tears; AJ Roberts wrote his story to explore the feelings and reactions he had at the time. It is a blend of fact and fiction. Ten years ago, he rejected offers from publishers who wanted to turn it into ‘misery-lit’ and focus entirely on the heartbreak. But, AJ’s story is so much more than that and time can be a great healer.
Incredibly funny, very touching, authentically heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive, he narrates the story of his son’s life – from birth through to adulthood – in just 42 Days. AJ describes it as “equal parts catharsis, tribute, love letter, rant and a call to re-evaluate our views on mortality” – if anyone is in a position to question mortality it is surely a parent who has lost their child.
About the Author
A British ex-pat now living in Australia (he admits he opted for Sydney for its sunshine and cricket), AJ Roberts was 30 when he wrote 42 Days and secured an agent and publishing interest at the time but the time (and offer) didn’t feel right. He pulled out and left the book to languish for almost a decade. Now, thanks to the evolution of the publishing industry, he’s now able to close this chapter – and publish the book in an honest, authentic manner true to his heart
– enabling him to move on to his next story.
AJ has always been paid to write; in 2002 he was a jobbing freelancer with copywriting contracts that always took precedence over his hopes to write a novel. When AJ’s third child was born three months prematurely, and died six weeks later, AJ found the motivation to write.