I was drawn to 'No Going Back' amongst David Blake's works because of the book's categorisations as historical fiction and erotica - it seemed an intriguing generic combination.
The first thing to say about 'No Going Back' is that it is well-written. In particular, I like the fact that the first person narrator's voice seems authentic for the time in which the book is set. Furthermore, the great level of descriptive detail in Blake's writing serves to set the scene in post-WWII rural Wales very effectively.
Reading 'No Going Back' it does feel rather like a book in two halves: the first part is a fairly gentle reminiscence, which would have universal appeal to adult readers; the second part is undoubtedly correctly classified as erotica and some readers may be uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of the two distinct elements of the story.
I enjoyed reading 'No Going Back' for what it was but I felt the story had scope to be developed in ways that would blend the narrative and romantic content in ways that would make the overall work more meaningful. As it stands, 'No Going Back' is technically a novelette. If Blake wanted to develop it as a novel or novella, there seem to be many avenues to explore. Personally, I was intrigued by the character of David - surely the fact that he reads suggests that he isn't the insensitive oaf he seems to be? What does he recall of his childhood friendship with Rob? What did it mean to him?
Overall, 'No Going Back' suggests that David Blake is a gifted writer with the potential to pursue many genres of fiction writing successfully.
(review of free book)