#BookReview 337 by M.JONATHAN LEE #BookReview #337LEE @HideawayFall @MJonathanLee

ABOUT THE BOOK


337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby. Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.


PUBLISHED BY HIDEAWAY FALL

PURCHASE LINK

AMAZON


MY REVIEW

I found this to be one of those ‘quiet’ books that focus on a family plagued by tragedy, that then sledgehammers you with the truth later on, so all the trauma, the angst and issues that have impacted on Sam and his family are laid bare.

The story centres around a family where the mother disappeared while her 2 sons were younger – one day she was there, the next they find a note on the table with her wedding ring and no sign of her. This causes major upheaval for the family with police questioning, rumours and gossip from the neighbourhood – a major impact on the 2 young boys who have to try and make sense of it all.

WE catch up with them as men, Sam mainly, who is the only one around to go and visit his grandmother in a home as she’s on the verge of death. Can she shed more light on the events all those years ago?

I was so gripped by the human aspect to this story – how traumatic events play such a huge role on the outlook on life of those involved. How it had split the brothers up, how Sam found himself constantly living in the past unable to move on and live life normally. So much anger and resentment had built up so he goes to visit his grandmother hoping to find answers.

This was definitely a powerful page turner for me, watching as the mystery of the story was revealed with flashbacks to the family in the past – before and after the mother disappeared. This adds to the tension and makes you understand why Sam acts the way he does now. And then there’s that ending… I’m still reeling now!!

★★★★★

My thanks to the author and publisher for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Drift Stumble Fall by M.Jonathan Lee #BookReview #PublicationDay

THE BLURB

The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.

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Publisher Hideaway Fall

Publication Date – 12th April 2018

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Book Depository

Wordery

MY REVIEW

The simplicity of this book is stunning! And that is how it gets you!! You follow the thoughts of two main starting with Richard Brown who seemingly has it all living in a nice house with his wife and 2 children, but feels trapped, restless and dissatisfied with life and is planning his escape. And he spends his time with envy watching Bill who lives across the street who he sees as having the perfect quiet life as it is just Bill and his wife Rosie.

But Bill is watching Richard and having the same envious thoughts about his lifestyle – sometimes the grass isn’t always greener.

The routine of day to day living is taking its’ toll on Richard, the little quirks he used to love about his wife now annoy him, and the only thought that gets him through each day is planning his new life.

What this book cleverly does is discuss normal life which makes it easier for the reader to connect with. We all have those thoughts that someone else is having a better life than us, without knowing the truth behind the curtains and as more is revealed throughout this story it hits you that appearances can be deceiving. You understand the frustrations they feel, the doubts that creep in their mind that the choices they’ve made are the wrong ones. But still reluctant to change things and so the daily routines go on…

I loved how the author created this world with very little action, but it’s the observations that the characters make that resonate with you as a reader. It’s the assumptions we all jump to about others which make the truth even more devastating when it is revealed and I did find myself shedding a tear or two whilst the lives of these two men played out on the pages. My heart was a little bit broken by the end!!

A stunning read and one that will stay with me for some time.

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Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee – book review

THE BLURB

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

Paperback, 294 pages
 
Expected publication: July 27th 2017 by Hideaway Fall

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a fascinatingly creepy story based around a family who seem to be suffering from a long standing curse -and there is no way of escaping it. It’s a really well written story looking at a family who suffer through grief and the horrors of life.  It cleverly mixes the normality of life with the bizarre!

The Perkins family are the family in question, and when Ian and wife Rachel move into his childhood home they seem to have it all, but the strange noises and happenings start up and life begins to fall apart for them both.  Ian tries to research his family history to uncover more of the ‘curse’ but it soon becomes an obsession for him and he seems to lose all grip on reality. 

We also get a glimpse into the childhood of Ian and the ‘strange accidents’ that seem to befall certain members of the family and how it affects the dynamics of the family members.  Even as children they pick up on the strange atmospheres around them.

Throughout the book you get a really unsettling feeling as you watch from the sidelines and it is all nicely paced and not over the top and that keeps drawing you in to a chilling ending.  Highly recommended!

Thankyou to the team at Hideaway Fall for the fab ARC copy in return for a fair and honest review – their work at promoting this book was one of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen and was very grateful to be part of it all!