I’m thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Attend, debut novel by West Camel!
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orenda Books for my e-copy of Attend.
When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters and set against the unmistakable backdrop of Deptford and South London.
What Did I Think?
I don’t know where to start with Attend. It’s such an unusual read. It’s a story about people. Three very different lead characters but oh so similar, a feeling of isolation from those around them.
Deborah – hiding herself away bubbling just out of the peripheral vision of day to day life of humanity. Slightly unnerving with her lack of regular social interaction. Really did not know what to make of her.
Sam, he’s trying to find his way in the big city and then a chance meeting with Deborah and Derek changes his life forever.
Anne, recovering addict trying to prove herself to her family but they aren’t quick to open their arms to her. She’s been out of their lives for so long, it’s going to take a lot for her to regain their trust.
West Camel has a poetic writing style. His storytelling unbeknownst to me slowly brought me into the centre of Deptford and the middle of the lives of these three interesting characters. The seemingly unrelated threads of this story slowly plaited themselves together to tie my attention up to the end.
The cover to Attend is so simple and yet fits this complex story impeccably. Three individual threads brought together.
Who Is West Camel?
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghostwriting a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,
and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.