Extremely delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for this wonderful book today. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all.
About the book
Long ago Andrew made a childhood wish. One he has always kept in a silver box with a too-big lid that falls off. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…
Long ago Ben dreamed of going to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally goes there, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting where they least expect. Some collisions are by design, but are they for a reason? Ben’s father would disown him for his relationship with Andrew, so they must hide their love. Andrew is determined to make it work, but secrets from his past threaten to ruin everything.
Ben escapes to Zimbabwe to finally fulfil his lifelong ambition. But will he ever return to England? To Andrew? To the truth?
A dark and poignant drama, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a mesmerisingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart.
‘Vivid, passionate and exquisitely told, this love story will live on in my heart for a very long time to come. A poignant, surprising and all-consuming read’ Katie Marsh.
‘I cannot remember when I was last so touched by a story. Tin Man meets Brokeback Mountain – it really is that good. This isn’t a book you just read, it’s something you absorb. An incredible, poignant piece of work. Louise Beech had cemented her place as one of Britain’s finest modern storytellers’ John Marrs.
‘A beautiful, honest and tender love story that I won’t forget for a long time. With wishes, promises, betrayals, heartbreak and joy – Ben and Andrew’s story spans time and distance. Their love had me trapped in its spell, their tragic moments had me sobbing like a baby. The scenes in Zimbabwe had me right there, inhaling the heady scents and listening to the lions roar. This is Louise Beech at her very best. A triumph’ Fionnuala Kearney.
‘Beech sets up the love story quietly and convincingly. And then – bang – something astonishing and completely unexpected happens to Ben and Andrew. This is where the narrative really gathers pace. I had read patiently until that point then I raced my way to the end. The book digs deep emotionally, but is funny and feel-good too’ Fiona Mitchell.
‘Storytelling at its finest. Louise Beech is a beguiling wordsmith. Prepare to be hooked’ Amanda Prowse.
‘The whole novel is skilfully woven together, with complex, utterly convincing characters and an impossible moral dilemma at the core. It’s a compelling read through to the emotional final pages. I love the poetry, the wisdom, and the insights into life at a lion sanctuary, so vivid that the reader can hear and smell as well as visualise them. It’s a stunning and very brave book’ Gill Paul.
‘Louise Beech does it again. The setting alone makes this book worth a read, the lightly handled metaphor of a place where damaged beings go to recover provides a sumptuous backdrop that does its work on the reader’s subconscious while they enjoy the action of the story. Love, complicated families and the hurtful things people say and do to one another out of fear, love and ignorance feature here, as well as messy relationships and the mistakes flawed human beings make while trying so hard not to. A moving read’ S.E. Lynes.
‘Heartfelt and wry, this will transport you into a keenly observed world; secrets are hidden, people are flawed, but humanity endures’ Ruth Dugdall.
‘Louise Beech is a natural-born storyteller with an elegance about her writing that never fails to move me’ Michael J. Malone
‘This is real life, bruised, torn and coffee-stained, refusing to give up … simply stunning’ Su Bristow.
‘There are times when you finish reading a book and know that part of it will stay with you always. This will be one of those books’ Claire Allen.
‘It put me in mind of John Irving. It’s that feeling of being in the hands of a master storyteller and just trusting him or her so completely’ Laura Pearson.
‘Nothing about this story disappoints. The African setting, the excellent writing, and above all, the immaculate storytelling. It’s a cleverly constructed book too. I loved the chapter headings which give us a glimpse of the story within the story. Another triumph. A beautifully crafted book’ Carole Lovekin.
‘Again, Louise Beech has totally blown me away with her storytelling ability. I loved this beautiful but painful love story; which is also about coincidences, loss and difficult relationships. This is a story about the strength of love and what sometimes needs to be sacrificed for it’ Madeleine Black.
‘Adored this beautiful and inspiring book’ Kate Furnivall.
‘Already one of my favourites of 2018’ Liz Robinson, LoveReadingUK.
‘A stirring novel, beautifully written, reminiscent of the early work of Maggie O’Farrell’ Irish Times.
‘Quirky, darkly comic, heartfelt and original’ Sunday Mirror.
‘This achingly sad story has wonderful characters, including the spiky, sweary Catherine’ Sunday People.
‘A beautiful and compassionate read’ Prima
connect with the author online
I feel shocked that this author has passed me by – until now!! I can’t wait to devour her previous books after being totally consumed with love for this story!
This is a story of loss, rediscovery and of love and how it can take you to the highest of highs, as well as the lowest of the lows. It shows love in all it’s form be that tender, toxic, terrifying, tender and traumatic and as you are reading you get to experience all these emotions as the author does a wonderful job of making the characters and their journeys touch your very core.
Ben is in Zimbabwe as a volunteer at a lion rehab facility where he meets a wide range of characters, all there for their own reasons. You know he’s there to escape something back home but it’s only as the story unfolds that you get to discover the many reasons he had to get away as he is finding the past difficult to leave behind. And he seeks solace with the lions – it is clear he has more patience with the animals than he does with humans!
At the core is a story of love, which is dealt with in such a sensitive manner and deals with the horrific prejudice encountered by Ben and Andrew. Ben wrestles with his conscience on a daily basis and is left to decide what is right for him, no matter who it may hurt along the way. Could he be something he isn’t just to live an easy life?
His family also feature a lot and often shows them in a bad light. But you can sense there’s more to their story than first meets the eye, and I found the way their story evolves quite shocking and helped explain quite a lot as to Ben struggling with his emotions and feelings.
I was totally captivated by this story and had tears rolling down my face on many occasions! It always takes something special to make you feel that kind of connection with a set of characters and this book shows how it can be done in such a touching way. Loved it!