Something To Live For by Richard Roper

Published by Orion Fiction on 23 July 2020

in paperback £7.99, eBook £4.99 and audio £19.99

With the warmth of David Nicholls and the charm and humour of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Something to Live For explores one man’s attempts to let go of the past and start his life afresh.

‘A perfect, quirky summer page-turner. A life-affirming debut’ THE SUNDAY TIMES

‘Funny, moving and thought-provoking – I loved this’ Clare Mackintosh

‘If you loved Eleanor Oliphant, try this brilliant new read’ FABULOUS

Everybody likes Andrew. But they don’t really know him.

They know what he’s told them – that he’s happily married with two kids. Living the kind of life that’s either so boring it’s true, or so perfect it’s a lie . . .ENTER PEGGY.
Peggy arrives in Andrew’s life in a burst of kindness and possibility. For the first time in ages, Andrew feels alive again. So now that he has everything to lose, can he risk it all and tell Peggy the truth?A big-hearted story about love, loneliness, and the importance of taking a chance when we feel we have the most to lose.

‘A charming, humorous and life-affirming tale about human kindness that strikes a chord in a world where loneliness is a growing problem’ BBC News Online, Top Fiction of 2019

‘Warmed my heart, broke it a little, then put it back together’ – Beth O’Leary, author of THE FLATSHARE

‘A wonderful debut that’s heartbreaking, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny all at once.’ WOMAN’S OWN

Richard Roper lives in London. SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR is his first novel. He says:

Hello reader,

Picture the scene. It’s Monday morning and you’re making a cup of tea in the shared kitchen when someone casually asks how your weekend was. ‘Oh, I just had a quiet one,’ you’ll say, because the truth was you spent 48 eating crisps and performing Torvill and Dean’s Bolero routine with your confused cat. What I’m trying to say is that we all tell white lies. Unfortunately for Andrew, the protagonist of this book, his has got rather out of hand, leaving him with a choice: stay where he is – lonely, unfulfilled, but comfortable – or tell the truth and risk his life falling apart for a chance to be happy.

Andrew’s story is inspired by an article I stumbled across, about the council workers who deal with situations when someone dies alone. Their days are spent sifting through the ephemera of those who’ve slipped through the cracks, searching for clues to a next of kin, working out how much money the deceased has left behind. In 1984 a law was passed that made councils responsible for burying someone when – as the euphemistic wording sets out – ‘no suitable arrangements have been made’. While the council workers are required to make these arrangements, they are under no obligation to attend the funerals. Yet they do, sometimes dozens of them a year, just to make sure at least someone is there.

Sometimes the smallest gestures can be the most meaningful.

This is Andrew’s story. I hope you enjoy it.




‘A wonderful debut that’s heartbreaking, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny… an inspiring, life-affirming read.’ Zoe West, WOMAN’S WEEKLY

‘This is a story that gets under your skin – and a must read.’ Natasha Harding, THE SUN

‘Eleanor Oliphant for men’ – David Sexton, EVENING STANDARD

‘A poignant, superbly funny debut novel about love, loneliness and the many ways life doesn’t always go to plan.’ WATERSTONES

‘This could almost be the tie-in novel for a Richard Curtis romcom… Something To Live For benefits from the same earnest charm.’ – Thomas Barrie, GQ

‘Something To Live For is a heart-warming, funny yet poignant debut novel. Exploring loneliness and family breakdown, Richard Roper has created a cast of colourful and weirdly wonderful characters. An uplifting and life-affirming read.’ Anne Cater, DAILY EXPRESS

‘It’s no surprise that TV rights to this funny, tender and all-the-feels book have already been snapped up.’ Sarra Manning, RED

‘Endearing and delightful’ Nina Pottell, PRIMA

‘A sweetly poignant debut.’ Eithne Farry, SUNDAY EXPRESS S MAGAZINE

‘Richard Roper’s debut is heart-breaking, uplifting, funny and brimming with human kindness.’


‘A poignant but uplifting novel that’s related with great compassion and humour.’

Fanny Blake, DAILY MAIL

‘Endearing.’ Patricia Nicol, SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE

‘Richard Roper has crafted a compelling mystery in this clever and uplifting debut… Something to Live For is a story about the problems we encounter as human beings and the connections that save us.’ – Sarah Gilmartin, IRISH TIMES

‘Life-affirming…moments of hilarity while conveying a message about stepping out of comfort zones.’ GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

‘This perfect, quirky summer page-turner… a life-affirming debut.’

Sharmaine Lovegrove, SUNDAY TIMES STYLE

‘If you loved Eleanor Oliphant, try this brilliant new read… We completely fell in love with this funny, uplifting debut.’ Claire Frost, FABULOUS

‘I loved this novel with my whole heart.’ THE NEW YORK TIMES


‘[An] off-beat and winning debut…, [Something To Live For] earns its pathos. Even more to its credit, it gives resiliency and the triumph of the human spirit a good name.’ WALL STREET JOURNAL

‘Gentle comedy and these characters’ innately kind natures enriches what might have been starkly sad moments… [Roper] admirably tackles a painful subject with goodhearted characters it’s easy to root for.’ USA TODAY

‘Roper’s delightful debut is as funny as it is touching… This story of a neurotic, tenderhearted man struggling to learn how not to be alone is irresistible.’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

‘Tragic, sweet, and hopeful… This novel will appeal to fans of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.’ BOOKLIST

‘Quirky and heartfelt… Andrew’s past traumas are revealed gradually, and the reasons behind his isolation are heartbreaking and poignant. A moving and funny look at grief, hope, and the power of human connections.’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘Tender, funny, compelling – this wonderful book deserves to be huge!’

Lucy Foley, author of THE HUNTING PARTY

‘Heart-breaking. Hilarious. Life-affirming. Some descriptions of loneliness took my breath away. This book deserves to be HUGE!’ Holly Bourne, author of HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?

‘I completely fell under its spell. It pulls you in, makes you laugh and breaks your heart – in short, does everything that you want a novel to do. While it is very much in the David Nicholls’ tradition of sympathetic quirk and comedy, it is, at the same time, so fresh and different. I loved the voice, the people, the world… Who couldn’t? What an extraordinary debut.’ – Gill Hornby, author of THE HIVE

‘A life-affirming novel that simultaneously tweaks your funny-bone and tugs at your heartstrings. Brilliant!’ – Matt Dunn

‘Funny, moving and uplifting…I loved it.’ Libby Page, author of THE LIDO

‘Nick Hornby and David Nicholls’ quirky love child would write like Richard Roper. Something to Live For is endearing, funny and life-affirming, with a perfect dose of loneliness and human kindness’

Caroline Smailes

‘A definite contender for my book of the year . . . funny, heartbreaking and cleverly observed’ Claire Frost

‘Wryly funny and quirkily charming – perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ – Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters

‘A beautiful, heart-warming laugh out loud story.’ – Dinah Jefferies


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