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Most workplaces have someone like Martin – competent, capable, reliable but also just a little bit of a ‘weirdo’ who never joins in with the other guys.

Most people – if they give it a thought – assume the Martins of this world choose their solitary existence.

But what if Martin, the unassuming hero of Cultivating a Fuji, isn’t simply shy and retiring? What if hiding his feelings is the only way he knows to survive?

Author Miriam Drori has written a compelling, heart-warming and thought-provoking UpLit exploration of loneliness and social anxiety.

It’s a bit of a slow-burner and the opening pages were a little confusing. I thought the story was gong in one direction and then it took off on a completely different flight.

But, as the pages turned, it was impossible not to be gripped by Martin’s journey, which begins with a business trip to Japan.

Strange rituals

His own future security, and that of his work colleagues, depends on him securing a good deal for the company. Everyone knows he’s the only man for the job – but nobody believes he can succeed.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much sake, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s just the beginning – back home he has to work out how to continue the momentum towards a more ‘normal’, less solitary existence.

Along the way, he meets Fiona, who brings her own baggage to their relationship, but gradually Martin’s life becomes brighter…

And, then there’s a whammy of an ending that’ll leave you gasping…

Loved it.

Review by Sue Featherstone.

Available to buy on Amazon.

About the author:

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants.

Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children.

She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it.

On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction.

Neither Here Nor There (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. The Women Friends, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt, whilst Social Anxiety Revealed (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints.

Now Cultivating a Fuji takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

Follow Miriam Drori on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blog and social anxiety blog.

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon