Title: What Remains
Author: Garrett Leigh
Narrator: Craig Beck
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 7 hours and 4 minutes
At a Glance: I am becoming almost as addicted to Craig Beck’s narrations as I am to Garret Leigh’s books. I can’t recommend this story enough.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?
Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat – a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family – and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.
Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him – or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.
Review: I loved Jodi and Rupert’s story so much when I read it that when I saw Craig Beck was doing the narration—he also performed Misfits, which I looooved—I knew I had to be on board. What Remains is a gorgeous love story, told as only Garrett Leigh can tell it. With heart, and humor, and guts, and a realism that can’t be denied. She brings the story to life on the page, and Beck makes it even more real with his voice work.
It is impossible not to connect to Jodi and Rupert right away. Jodi is so full of life, so confident and feisty. And, Rupert is just one of the biggest loves ever. Honestly, just a sweet, kindhearted Irish bloke who loves his daughter and Jody with all he has. The character development is fantastic, and Craig Beck’s interpretation of both MCs is wonderful. I did have a bit of an issue early on, in that I thought Rupert’s Irish brogue should be a little more pronounced—I really felt it was absent in the first chapter—but then things fell into place. He began to sound more Irish and just quintessentially ‘Rupert’ to me.
In my initial review of the eBook, I talked about the story format and Leigh’s brilliant execution of the back-and-forth between present tense and flashbacks. It works just as well in the audio. We have the pronouncement of the dates in the chapter headers, and it is immediately obvious whether we are listening to Jodi and Rupert’s beginning, or their current, tragic circumstance. Things eventually start to look up, though—if anyone deserves a break, it’s these two!—and we head into possibly the most gorgeous part of the story.
‘The remnants of their broken dreams lay scattered all around…but what remained was something beautiful.’
This book will grab your heart and not let go. I can’t imagine what the recovery from a TBI like Jodi sustains is like—the work, the heartache, the ups-and-downs, as well as the small victories—but Leigh paints a realistic and heartfelt portrait of life before and after for Jodi and Rupert. She is so good at her craft; whatever the subject matter, I always know she’s going to get it right.
I am becoming almost as addicted to Craig Beck’s narrations as I am to Garret Leigh’s books. His work on this book was fantastic. In the first chapter or so the pace felt a bit too rushed, but again, whether it was just me, or corrections were made, things settled in and the flow was awesome throughout the rest of the book. I can’t recommend this story enough. If you’re an audiobook fan, and you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Craig Beck yet, this is definitely one to add to your library.
You can buy What Remains here: