The Twenty Seven Club
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Published March 3 2021 by Lark
“A moving exploration of mental health, enduring music myths and why love can help us through.” Stylist
A new novel that raises awareness of mental health problems through the media lens of The Twenty Seven Club takes readers back to a 90s Northern England when the world lost another great rock musician.
From published author and mental health campaigner, Lucy Nichol, The Twenty Seven Club, her first venture into adult fiction, explores the impact that the media can have on our mental health – throwing in a tonne of nostalgia, humour and popular 90s punk rock and pop.
It’s 1994. The music industry is mourning Kurt Cobain, Right Said Fred have re-emerged as an ‘ironic’ pop act and John Major is the country’s prime minister. Nothing is as it should be. Emma, a working-class rock music fan from Hull, with a penchant for a flaming Drambuie and a line of coke with her best mate Dave down The Angel, is troubled. Trev, her beloved whippet, has doggy IBS, and her job ordering bathroom supplies at the local caravan company is far from challenging. So when her dad, Tel, informs her that Kurt Cobain has killed himself aged 27, Emma is consumed with anxiety.
Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix…why have so many rock musicians died aged 27? And will Emma be next to join The Twenty Seven Club? The Twenty Seven Club is a nostalgic, often humorous, drug and booze-infused tale of friendship, discovery and anxiety as Emma tries, for once, to focus on life, rather than death. The Twenty Seven Club has already received interest from Newcastle’s Live Theatre and Arts Council England, who have provided funding for a stage version of the book, which will be adapted by Lucy’s husband, actor and director, Chris Connel, later this year.
As a child of the nineties, this novel peaked my interest when I saw it available for review. Lucy Nichol is not an author I have heard of before and after further investigation I found out this is her first work of fiction, I feel I may need to keep an eye out for her. The Twenty Seven Club is dark where it needs to be, funny where it needs to be and just brings a sense of nostalgia for me, I have often wondered about some of the most famous musicians and their untimely deaths at 27, I almost feel like Lucy read my diary entries from way back when as I questioned why the god ones always go so early. Drugs, friends, booze and a time capsule back to one of the most influential periods for rock music, I enjoyed every moment of this read and highly recommend it. Rumor has it this story is set to be adapted to stage as well, so keep on the lookout for that. Overall I give the Twenty Seven Club a 5 out of 5 stars.
About the Author
“I’ve been fascinated by rock music and what might really be behind the media headlines for years. Not least because, thanks to my own experiences with panic and anxiety disorder, I’ve had to look behind the headlines I’ve told myself over the years to figure out what was really bothering me.
It’s been so much fun going back to 1994 – a year where I was much younger than my character, Emma, but a year in which I have so many vivid memories of new music discoveries, dodgy fashions and, sadly, tragic news stories. I’ll always remember hearing the news about Kurt Cobain’s death and, whether you were in Hull or Seattle, it rocked the world of so many music fans – young and old.” -Lucy
Lucy is a mental health campaigner and PR consultant, and a former columnist with Sarah Millican’s Standard Issue magazine. She has written for The Independent, The I Paper, NME, Red Magazine, Den of Geek, Men’s Fitness, Metro and Huff Post. Her first book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes, a non-fiction mental health memoir, was published by Trigger in 2018. Lucy has worked with the media in PR and marketing for almost 20 years and has experienced Generalised Anxiety Disorder for even longer.