Meet the Characters – Hugh Thorpe from ‘Mid-life follies’ by R J Gould

A warm welcome to my guest this week, author R.J. Gould who is interviewing his character Hugh Thorpe from ‘Mid-life Follies’. First let’s find out a bit about the book

Mid-life follies_front cover with bleed


‘When you look in the mirror, do you see someone young and vibrant like you used to be,’ Liz asks her husband, ‘or old and decrepit like you’re going to be?’

This question is the trigger for Liz’s decision to leave the comfortable family home in Cambridge after twenty-three years of contented marriage.

A brisk walk to clear her head of the feeling of being trapped doesn’t work. On a brief escape to the seaside, a wholly out of character one-night fling makes things worse. A baffled Hugh is left to figure out why his wife has abandoned him. Is she suffering a mid-life crisis? Is he experiencing the same affliction?

A succession of twists and turns prevents a restoration to the normality that the couple increasingly crave as their children, parents and friends discover that immaturity is not solely the preserve of the young.

“This tale of self-doubt, adultery and forgiveness is shot through with humour and compassion. A most enjoyable read.” 

David Lister, The Independent 

It sounds a great read, doesn’t it? You can buy the book here:



Over to R J Gould’s interview with Hugh Thorpe.

Thanks for agreeing to meet me, Hugh, I appreciate how upset you must be. Having heard Liz’s explanation about what’s going on, I think it’s only fair to get your take.

Well, you’re fortunate to have got that far because I’m still waiting for an explanation.

She told me that she already has explained how she feels.

Hardly. Only meaningless clichés like “feeling trapped”, “needing space”, and “fearing old age.”

Don’t you think those are very real concerns?

Not enough to justify walking out on me after twenty-three happy years together – even she has agreed they were good times. I don’t understand this fear of ageing that she’s going on about. We all get it, don’t we, once we reach a certain age. God, she’s only forty-seven. What does she think it’s like being my age?

I think I’m right; you’ve just turned fifty-nine, haven’t you? I wouldn’t call that old so I’m struggling to fathom why you seem to have developed a rather morbid obsession with death.

Who told you that?

Your daughter, Kiera. She says that you spend all your time reading obituaries. She’s also told me that you’ve become as grumpy as hell.

Is that surprising? Let me remind you, Liz left the very weekend that I’d retired. I was all set to plan for a wonderful rest of our lives together, but now that she’s gone, all I have to look forward to is a lonely march towards death. And since you mention Kiera, to add to it all, she’s a huge concern. She’s having sex with a boy who I haven’t even met, she’s not working hard at college, and God knows what else she’s getting up to.

Teenagers, they’re never easy.

“Never easy for teenagers”! “Very real concerns for Liz”! Whose side are you on?

It’s not a case of taking sides, I’m merely trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Do you accept any responsibility for what’s happened?

I’m not stupid, of course I do. I wonder whether I’m deserving of Liz. She’s so vibrant, clever, sociable.

From what I’ve heard, she loves you dearly and would happily resolve this. Do you think a reconciliation is possible?

I wish I knew. I just wish I knew.

Want to find out if Hugh and Liz get back together? You can buy the book here:



Meet R J Gould

richard gould

R J Gould is published by Endeavour Media and Headline Accent and is the author of four novels:  A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack & Jill Went Downhill and Mid-life follies. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people, all rewarding, but his passion is writing fiction. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Find him at:





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