in the day
Recovering from a suicidal breakdown, Tom Seagrave begins to rediscover the simple beauties of life. But his difficult history, and the pressures he feels from the world in general, constantly threaten to send him back to his darkest place.
About the Author
Kevin Marman has been writing since childhood. In recent years, he has won several prizes for short fiction and poetry – including a Waterstones Poetry Prize – and has had poems and stories published in a variety of literary magazines and journals. Two of his one-act plays, The Next Train and Prize, have been produced and performed by Channel Theatre Company in Kent, where he now lives. Writing under the user-name Stan, he is a regular contributor and editor on ABCTales.com writers’ website, where the early chapters of In The Day were originally posted. In The Day is his first novel, and he is currently working on two further novels. His collection of short fiction, Still Life, is available as an e-book for Amazon Kindle.
Kevin lived in Devon in his teens, completing his schooling at King Edward VI School in Totnes – alongside fellow pupil Bob Mann! Although he has lived in Kent since 1978, Devon has always been his spiritual home. He hopes to return one day.
From the reviews
Tom, the 49-year-old character of Kevin Marman’s book, is a person who is struggling. Long-term unemployed for the first time ever, he has to ‘keep it in the day,’ to keep busy, to stay meaningful, to live with the good awarenesses that are often there if one simply breathes into the moment… Although in the day can be emotionally uncomfortable, the author lifts us above doom and gloom by the sharpness of his writing. The narrative skill employed here to create a work where past and present, people and information on relevant issues, locality and universality are woven closely together is truly impressive. Often a sharp-witted humour is present in the prose. And we are always engaged with Tom, his first person story, his doings, his feelings.
in the day is set in a seaside town. I live in seaside East Devon and I am struck by the book’s descriptive truths. The feeling of a community in November where the clock winds down until the following year. The elemental beauty of the waves and the greenness of the fields behind. The sense of solidity, and also of shifting sands; the moods of weather, tide and time. in the day is a terrific book simply for people who like to read.
‘Brilliant, bleak, bewitching and beautifully written.’
Kevin Marman’s debut novel is part narrative, part journal, part interior monologue, chronicling the book’s narrator, Tom Seagrave, in his struggle to overcome the consequences of a suicidal breakdown… Tom has been diagnosed borderline personality disorder (BPD)… ‘Major symptoms are emotional instability, with disturbed thinking patterns, impulsive (including self-harming) behaviour, and unstable and dysfunctional relationships with other people. ‘
All these elements are expertly realised in a book that could and should be unbearably depressing, yet is exhilarating for the sheer verve and precision with which a mental health condition has been defined, through the medium of fiction, with an account probably of more psychological value than a closely observed clinical study might give us. It is a testament to Marman’s skill as a writer that, for the reader, it is very difficult indeed to decide to what extent his material is derived from personal experience, and to what extent it has been meticulously researched.
The writing is always confident and assured. What especially impresses me is the author’s compassion and respect for his characters, his profound insight and, not infrequently, his wit. in the day does for Borderline Personality Disorder what The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time did for Aspergers Syndrome. Anyone who has suffered, or lived with someone who suffers, will know the truth of his portrayal.