Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee @MJonathanLee @HideawayFall

38490934

Author : M. Jonathan Lee
Title : Drift Stumble Fall
Pages : 310
Publisher : Hideaway Fall
Publication date : April 12, 2018

aboutthebook

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.

mythoughts

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the concept of the grass is greener on the other side. Some people will watch their friends and neighbours rather enviously, wishing for their cars or their houses, or even their lives. It’s rather human, isn’t it? To want what someone else has? But you never really know what goes around behind closed doors, do you?

Richard is not a happy camper. He feels incredibly trapped in a life he didn’t specifically choose.  Married and the father of two children, he often finds himself staring out of the window, watching his neighbour Bill and wishing for his quiet life. A life in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, full of peace and quiet and the ability to do what he wants whenever he wants to, instead of taking long baths and hiding himself away. And so Richard begins to plan his escape.

Neighbour Bill often stands by his window as well but for very different reasons. His life came to a rather abrupt stop years ago. All he’s done since then is wait, watching the world go by and his neighbours across the street. For the reader, it soon becomes apparent nothing is ever what it seems and you should always be careful what you wish for.

Drift Stumble Fall is a realistic, relatable, thought-provoking and sometimes quite emotional story about family, loss, feeling utterly trapped and never quite knowing what you have until it could be gone forever. It’s a raw, sometimes brutal but honest account of what I’m sure thousands of parents go through on a daily basis. When your children are bouncing balls of excitement and joy and you really just need a few minutes to yourself. When things about your partner start to annoy you and you wonder what you saw in them in the first place. It makes you appreciate and cherish what you have, your life and the people around you because it could all disappear in an instant.

I thoroughly enjoyed Broken Branches when it was published last year but I must say that for me, Drift Stumble Fall is even better. While this is a slow story, it held my attention throughout, despite some characters not exactly being all that likeable. But it’s beautifully written and I find I quite like the author’s writing style. It flows and feels natural and I can’t wait to read more by M. Jonathan Lee!

My thanks to the publisher for my copy!

Drift Stumble Fall is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | KoboGoodreads

 

This Week in Books (April 11)

this-week-in-books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

38490934

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.

The book I’m currently reading

39305578

When a dead man is lifted from the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour just before Christmas, Detective Lena Stigersand’s stressful life suddenly becomes even more complicated. Not only is she dealing with a cancer scare, a stalker and an untrustworthy boyfriend, but it seems both a politician and Norway’s security services might be involved in the murder. With her trusted colleagues, Gunnarstranda and Frølich, at her side, Lena digs deep into the case and finds that it not only goes to the heart of the Norwegian establishment, but it might be rather to close to her personal life for comfort.

What I’m probably reading next

39297154

If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

***

What are you reading this week? Anything good? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

 

Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee @HideawayFall

35106198

Author : M. Jonathan Lee
Title : Broken Branches
Pages : 294
Publisher : Hideaway Fall
Publication date : July 27, 2017

aboutthebook

‘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.

mythoughts

Following a family tragedy, Ian returns to the cottage where he grew up. Convinced a curse is responsible, he digs deep to unearth various events in his family’s past to create a family tree. But curses don’t exist, do they?

First of all, let me just say how much I liked the fact that the title doesn’t just refer to the humongous Sycamore tree by the cottage but also to the various broken branches of the family that Ian is investigating. One of those I feel could have been explored more as I’d love to have known what happened to ruin the relationship between Ian and his brother. Unless I missed something? It’s totally possible.

I’m not one for anything involving a supernatural element, normally. So I was a little hesitant about picking this one up. However, I quickly found myself enjoying this story and when the supernatural vibe made an appearance, it had me wondering if it wasn’t something else entirely. Ultimately, Broken Branches is about grief and loss, how it affects relationships and how families deal with it.

Some of the story switches to events in the past, which provide a great backstory but I feel those could have been done slightly different, maybe with a header, as it wasn’t always obvious and I sometimes got a bit confused until I read further along the page. Nevertheless, it was really well written and the slower pace worked like a charm. While I had an inkling of where it was going, despite a few twists and turns, the author managed to hold my attention to the very end with the level of intrigue. All in all, and maybe slightly to my surprise, which is always a good thing, I found this to be quite an enjoyable mystery!

Many thanks to Hideaway Fall for my advanced copy, which I chose to review honestly!

Broken Branches will be published on July 27th.

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads