#BlogTour In Exile by Alexandra Turney

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour In Exile by Alexandra Turney. It combines mythology, women’s fiction and a coming-of-age story, and presents it in a toned down almost old-fashioned way.

About the Author

Alexandra Turney grew up in London and studied English Literature at the University of Oxford. Her love of Romantic poets (and pasta) inspired her to move to Rome, where she has lived since 2013. She works as an English teacher and freelance writer. In Exile is her first novel.

Follow @ALJTurney @Unbound_Digital on Twitter

Buy In Exile

About the book

‘No one in this city has believed in me for two thousand years. I’m unknown and unloved. And I’m very, very ill.’ He sighed, and the sound chilled her blood. ‘Give me your hand.’

Dionysus, god of wine and divine ecstasy, is reborn in modern Rome. He doesn’t understand how or why he’s come to be here – a pagan god in a city where he has no believers. But when he meets fifteen-year-old Grace during a chance encounter in the Ghetto, he realises he has found his first new follower.

This is the beginning of Grace’s secret life, as she and her friends overcome scepticism and fear to become his worshippers, drinking his wine and taking part in bacchanals across the city. As the melancholy god lives out his exile, his teenage followers find they have everything to lose. And after the first bloodshed, they know that there’s no turning back…Review

What would happen if a god graced us with his presence. A god of wine and uninhibited joy, and yet there are also some that say he is also deliberate and vengeful. This is the story of when a girl meets a god and his world of old and her world of new meld into one.

I think it’s important to remember the fact the girls are reading The Bacchae when Grace meets the god and then later introduces him to her friends. In a way the story and their experiences reflect some of the mythology they have read, which could suggest a mass hysteria of young minds, but then who can say whether Greek gods don’t walk the earth and cause chaos all the time.

As far as Grace, Caroline and Sara are aware there are just the three of them, and yet Dionysus now and again lets slip a reference to another person. The four of you and then there’s nine. It made me think of the nine muses of Greek mythology.

Although the story circles around the god and the self discovery of the girls or mainly the inner emotional turmoil of Grace, there are some poignant moments that speak to the majority of teenage girls as they transcend from the innocence of youth to the complex world of raging hormones and sexual desire.

The listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from frenzied excitement or equally a sense of boredom, which crescendos like a volcanic explosion in a shower of impulsive actions and emotions, and is almost synonymous with being young. The author translates those feelings to written word. Not an easy feat at all.

The story between Grace and Caroline in particular speaks to the first experiments of a sexual nature, which statistically happen, for most teenagers, between friends of the same gender. When hormones are mistaken for real emotions, and forbidden lust is equated to love. Tender kisses and fumbling, become eroticised breathless moments to be forgotten as they grow older and discover their sexual identity and experience love and other such things of that nature.

Turney combines mythology, women’s fiction and a coming-of-age story, and presents it in a toned down almost old-fashioned way. On one hand this means anyone can read it, because the lechery, sexual encounters and the moments of pure abandonment are only hinted it. It also means those moments are left free to self interpretation and the imagination of each reader.

It has the charm of an early 20th century upper class story with hints of debauchery, and yet it simultaneously has the devil may care abandoned nature and exploration of a more modern piece of fiction.

Buy In Exile at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 24 Jan. 2019. Buy In Exile at Unbound.

#BlogTour Falling from the Floating World by Nick Hurst

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Falling from the Floating World by Nick Hurst. It’s a story of brutal crime mixed with a mesmerising tale of the old country. It’s tradition, culture and myth with a splash of stark reality to keep the reader in the present.

About the Author

Nick Hurst spent three years training with a kung fu master in Malaysia to write his first book, Sugong, which was published in 2012. He was written for the Guardian and Time Out. He lives in Japan.

Follow @nickhurst18 @Unbound_Digital on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon,

Buy Falling from the Floating World

About the book

When Ray is sacked from his advertising job in London, he goes to Japan hoping to start his life afresh. Things begin well: he lands work as an English teacher and strikes up a relationship with the  beautful, intriguing Tomoe. But his world is turned upside down when Tomoe’s father is found dead.

Convinced that his death was a murder, Tomoe sets out after the killers, and when she goes missing Ray is forced to act. In his quest to find her he’s dragged into the ‘floating world’ – a place of corrupt politicians, yakuza, sumo wrestlers and call-girls – living out an adventure that echoes his dreams of Tokyo’s feudal past.

It’s a search guaranteed to bring further loss of life, and Ray is pulled into a desperate chase to ensure it won’t  be his.

Review

This is a story of love. It’s also one of revenge and a determination to find the truth. A tale of a young man, a foreigner in a country that despises his foreignness, and yet is too polite to tell him that. The complex layers of history and past grievances are mixed together with ancient rules dictated by the Japan of the past to create this combination of modern crime and historical myth.

Ray finds himself drawn into the underbelly of the Yakusa crime world and the disagreement between fractions when his beautiful girlfriend Tomoe disappears after she starts asking too many questions. The reader then sees him being pulled deep into this world of brutality, as he fights to find her in a town full of secrets and violence.

It’s fascinating how Hurst describes the different levels of prostitution. The upper levels are portrayed in a way which suggests a less than sordid connotation. The art of pleasure, the highly sought after skills of the most beautiful women in the country. Hidden behind some elusive and exclusive mirage of forgotten history and culture. The suggestion of choice and pleasure in the activities instead of being forced or coerced.

I think that overall feeling of a country seeped in culture, myths and complex ideas of behaviour, ranking, honour and interaction is thrown over the modern day reality like a light layer of material. Everyone knows it’s there on top of them and they choose to hide behind it when it suits them, but it doesn’t stop the brusque reality of crime and the 21st century from taking place simultaneously. It’s almost as if they are trying to deceive themselves and others into believing that they are still living by the rules of the admired old guard.

The story of Tomoe has echoes of the story of Katsuyama. It’s intentional, the parallels between the woman in the present and the strong woman in the past. Perhaps in a way it actually speaks to the fact that not much has changed when it comes to Japanese heritage, feudal pasts and the way their lives are dictated by their strict ideas of honour.

Personally I found myself drawn more to the tale of the young woman in the past. Her determination to discover who caused the downfall of her father and to get revenge at any cost to herself. It’s what drew me in like the soft call of a nightingale, as the rage of the rest of the story continued in the background. 

It’s a story of brutal crime mixed with a mesmerising tale of the old country. It’s tradition, culture and myth with a splash of stark reality to keep the reader in the present.

I would love to hear more about Katsuyama and to read her story. I especially want to know where she went. What happened?

Buy Falling from the Floating World at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.Publisher: Unbound; pub date 7 Mar. 2019

#BlogTour The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerney

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Pumilio Child by Judy McInerney today. It’s a gem of a book. It’s historical fiction, and yet literary fiction in equal measures.

About the Author

Judy McInerney has lived and worked in London for most of her professional life. Living in the Middle East, she managed to get lost in the desert, and to live through a military coup. After teaching in Abu Dhabi and starting her own business in Turkey, she returned to London and completed a creative writing course at Goldsmiths. Writing for food and travel guides has enabled her to justify travelling and eating out far too often

As a frequent traveller to China over the last thirty years she has seen the country undergo massive seismic changes, – from the times of Mao jackets and vast shoals of bicycles meandering along every hutong, to the present day, where Beijing is bigger than Belgium and has six million cars. She still travels in China each year to keep in close touch with family there. She also has a longstanding love affair with Italy, particularly the Renaissance cities of the north. Mantua is an undiscovered gem, both magical and macabre.

Follow @judy_mcinerney@Unbound_Digital on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit judymcinerney.com

Buy The Pumilio Child

About the book

Ya Ling’s cultured life of privilege in Beijing is cruelly cut short when she is abducted and shipped to the slave market in Venice. When Mantegna sees her chained to a post, his initial intention is to paint her exotic beauty, but he soon he desires her company for pleasures of a more private nature. Ya Ling has two ambitions, to ruin Mantegna, then to escape back to her family in China. However, Mantegna’s latest commission, two huge frescos for the ruling Gonzaga family, make him invincible. Will Ya Ling survive? And can she succeed?

Review

Ya Ling is a young, bright and talented woman, who lives a life of luxury in Beijing. Shortly after her betrothal she is brutally kidnapped, and in matter of months goes from an important wealthy woman to a mere concubine. Bought by a painter, who insists he wants to paint her beauty, but never actually paints her. His attitude towards women and his servants is a complete contradiction to the exquisite art he creates.

What the author captures beautifully is the way the worlds of East and West collide. Not only culturally, but also in regards to religion and faith. Ya Ling manages to maintain her dignity and inner strength, despite all her trials and tribulations. Her reverence for her gift and talent for healing is what keeps her going throughout the pain, humiliation and despair.

The Renaissance tends to be romanticised, especially on the big and small screen. The squalor, desperation and viciousness is swept under the billowing skirts of the wealthy. The more sordid tastes, habits and criminal enterprises of the well-coined become a footnote in history or just disappear completely.

I would like to have seen some notes or references to back up certain claims in regards to the Pumilio children. It’s presented as a forgotten historical fact in the blurb. As for the life and times of the revered Renaissance painter Mantegna, again without references I would presume artistic licence has been taken. 

As a purely fictional premise I really enjoyed the story of Ya Ling, and indeed I was sorry to say goodbye to a woman of such strength and determination. A young girl thrown into a strange world of violence and abuse, but determined throughout to regain her freedom and return home to her beloved family.

It’s historical fiction, albeit perhaps more fiction than historical fact, and yet literary fiction in equal measures. McInerney projects the soothing, healing nature of the main character in an unforgettable manner. It’s a compelling read.

Buy The Pumilio Child at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 20 Sept. 2018. Buy at Unbound, at Amazon com

#BlogTour Apple Island Wife by Fiona Stocker

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Apple Island Wife by Fiona Stocker. It’s a loving and warm-hearted memoir of a family willing to change their entire lives in an attempt to find their best life.

About the Author

Fiona Stocker is the author of travel memoir Apple Island Wife – Slow Living in Tasmania, published by Unbound in 2018.

Raised in England, Fiona Stocker now lives in Tasmania where she writes freelance for magazines, newspapers and online publications, and runs a niche farm, food and tourism business in partnership with her husband.

She occasionally works as a ghost writer and editor, and was a judge in the Tasmanian Short Story Competition in 2016. Her first book, A Place in the Stockyard, a history of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture featuring its members, was published in 2016.

Read more and subscribe for a quarterly newsletter at http://www.fionastocker.com/ or read Fiona Stocker’s blog at http://www.appleislandwife.com/

Fiona Stocker lives in the Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania, with her husband, two children and around forty-five pigs. Apple Island Wife is her first travel memoir.

Follow @FionaCStocker @Unbound_Digital on Twitter, Visit appleislandwife and fionastocker

Buy Apple Island Wife: Slow Living in Tasmania

About the book

What happens when you leave city life and move to five acres on a hunch, with a husband who s an aspiring alpaca-whisperer, and a feral cockerel for company? Can you eat the cockerel for dinner? Or has it got rigor mortis?

In search of a good life and a slower pace, Fiona Stocker upped-sticks and moved to Tasmania, a land of promise, wilderness, and family homes of uncertain build quality. It was the lifestyle change that many dream of and most are too sensible to attempt.

Wife, mother and now reluctant alpaca owner, Fiona jumped in at the deep end. Gradually Tasmania got under her skin as she learned to stack wood, round up the kids with a retired lady sheepdog, and stand on a scorpion without getting stung.

This charming tale captures the tussles and euphoria of living on the land in a place of untrammelled beauty, raising your family where you want to and seeing your husband in a whole new light. Not just a memoir but an every woman’s story, and a paean to a new, slower age.

Review

The author has a knack for telling a yarn, no pun intended. There are some people, I think we will all know at least one person this applies to, who can make even the most mundane of tasks become an entertaining story. This is what Stocker does with the stories of her family and her anecdotes. In fact she is probably a written advertisement for upping roots and moving to New Zealand.

It’s amusing, albeit probably unintentionally so. In a way the author downplays the difficulty of adjusting to such a different way of life, climate and culture, with her entertaining stories. What is lost in the midst of it all is the strength and endurance it must have cost them to deal with every situation and new challenge.

What does come through quite strongly is the support people in remote areas need from their neighbours and friends. The advice, the many years of experience and of course the oddities that come with being a person of the land.

I can’t decide which part I enjoyed the most, but there were a fair few laughs along the read. The temperamental alpacas, the cockerel named Vlad or the snake pretending to be a long tailed rat. The neighbour with an affinity to sniff out dead trees, the child-herding dog and the subtle art of wood stacking. Just a small taste of the light-hearted tales within the book.

I enjoyed the way Stocker had no problems taking the mickey out of herself, her husband and their friends. It’s done in a playful and respectful manner, but it doesn’t make it any less funny. It’s a loving and warm-hearted memoir of a family willing to change their entire lives in an attempt to find their best life.

Buy Apple Island Wife: Sow Living in Tasmania at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 4 Dec. 2018

#BlogTour The Hourglass by Liz Heron

It truly is an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Hourglass by Liz Heron. It’s a beautiful, atmospheric story about time, history, and about being afraid to love, die and most importantly to live.

About the Author

Liz Heron grew up in Scotland and studied at Glasgow University. After living in Paris, Madrid and Venice, she embarked on freelance life in London, contributing arts and literary journalism to Spare Rib, The New Statesman, The Listener, The Village Voice, New Society, The Guardian and many other publications.

Her literary translations from French and Italian range from Georges Bataille and Giorgio Agamben to the novels of Paola Capriolo. Her own books include Truth, Dare or Promise, a compilation of essays on childhood, and Streets of Desire, an anthology of women’s 20th-century writing on the world’s great cities, both published by Virago, as was her short-story collection, A Red River (1996).

Liz began researching her novel, The Hourglass, during her second spell of life in Venice.

Visit lizheron.co.uk and lizheron.wordpress.com

Buy The Hourglass

About the book

Spring 2000. Paul Geddes visits Venice to research the fin-de-siècle opera singer, Esme Maguire, seeking out a cache of papers held by Eva Forrest, the widow of a collector. What he reads begins in the 1680s, moving through the city s later history of Enlightenment and Revolution, describing a life stretched beyond human possibilities.

She travels across Europe to sing in Regency London and Edinburgh, then Belle Epoque Paris, always returning to Venice, its shadows and its luminosity, its changes and its permanence.

What would it be like to live for nearly 300 years, as an exceptional being who must renew herself time after time, as those she has loved age and die? Could this story be grounded in reality or be merely the product of an ageing woman s delusion, as Paul suspects.

Warily, Eva and Paul fall in love, their tentative emotions bringing them closer until, on a trip to the Dolomites, Eva s past catches up with her.

Review

When Paul meets Eva it seems like a moment in time that what was meant to be. He is researching a forgotten fin-de-siècle (end or turn of the century) singer called Esme Maguire and has been led to believe that a certain Eva Forrest has inherited an archive of material, which includes information on Esme.

From the very first second Eva appears to be both reluctant to part with the memorabilia and yet simultaneously wants Paul to be privy to the secrets it holds. And so begins a seductive game of unwanted desire, fascination and exploration. Eva wants Paul to start at the beginning of a story that begins many centuries ago and Paul, quite rightly so, wonders what exactly it is that Eva does or doesn’t want him to discover.

Is it about the archive or is this all some kind of strange game that a lonely woman with commitment issues wants to play in an attempt to lure Paul in? She melds into the Venetian surroundings as if she belongs there, as if she is part of the magic.

It has an essence of The Age of Adaline, but with a strong historical element to it. The author succeeds in bringing Venice and the history of Venice to the feet of her readers. All of which isn’t as simple as my prior sentence may imply. Venice has always been a city surrounded by mystique and secrets, only compounded by the fact its pathways are paved with liquid cobblestones. The majority of buildings are standing proof, albeit often crumbling, flaky and in need of restoration, of the turmoil the city and its people have been through in the previous centuries.

I loved the tale, and although it’s an often criticised phrase in reviews, it is the kind of story that should be on the big screen. Someone just needs to recognise the potential and the magic within the covers of this book.

Heron writes with intent, very well researched and thought out intent. She wants the reader to experience the magic of the Venice of old, the disparities between the internal conflicts within the city and how the city bonds to fight off external threats, and the essence of magic the masses flock to find there every year.

It’s a beautiful, atmospheric story about time, history, and about being afraid to love, die and most importantly to live. In fact perhaps in a way it’s telling us not to be afraid to live while we have the chance and grab each fleeting moment before it passes by and becomes a faded dusty memory in an old leather trunk behind a locked attic door.

Buy The Hourglass at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 25 Oct. 2018. Buy at UnboundAmazon com,

#BlogTour East of England by Eamonn Griffin

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour East of England by Eamonn Griffin. It’s a clever tongue in cheek nod to the old gangster regimes, but with a small countryside flair to it.

About the Author

Eamonn Griffin was born and raised in Lincolnshire, though these days he lives in north-east Wales.

He’s worked as a stonemason, a strawberry picker, in plastics factories (everything from packing those little bags for loose change you get from banks to production planning via transport manager via fork-lift driving), in agricultural and industrial laboratories, in a computer games shop, and latterly in further and higher education.

He’s taught and lectured in subjects as diverse as leisure and tourism, uniformed public services, English Studies, creative writing, film studies, TV and film production, and media theory. He doesn’t do any of that anymore. Instead he writes fulltime, either as a freelancer, or else on fiction. Eamonn has a PhD in creative writing with the University of Lancaster, specialising in historical fiction, having previously completed both an MA in popular film and a BSc in sociology and politics via the Open University. He really likes biltong, and has recently returned to learning to play piano, something he abandoned when he was about seven and has regretted since.

Follow @eamonngriffin @Unbound_Digital, Visit campsite.bio/eamonngriffin or eamonngriffinwriting.com

Buy East of England

About the book

Dan Matlock is out of jail. He’s got a choice. Stay or leave. Go back to where it all went wrong, or just get out of the county. Disappear. Start again as someone else. But it’s not as simple as that.

There’s the matter of the man he killed. It wasn’t murder, but even so. You tell that to the family. Especially when that family is the Mintons, who own half of what’s profitable and two thirds of what’s crooked between the Wolds and the coast. Who could have got to Matlock as easy as you like in prison, but who haven’t touched him. Not yet.

Like Matlock found out in prison, there’s no getting away from yourself. So what’s the point in not facing up to other people? It’s time to go home.

Review

I had no idea it was this dangerous on the other side of the Humber. The next time I use the Humber bridge I will make sure to venture into the den of iniquity braced with my hardman persona and a cosh.

I’ll admit that the title in no way prepares the reader for the well written plot. It’s as if the author wants the reader to make assumptions based on the bland almost blasé words used to describe such an nondescript part of England. In comparison to other parts of the country it’s become a little bit like the forgotten land in between the hard-nosed North and the laid-back South. The first being not far from Scotland and the latter close to London, and keeper of the gates to the mainland.

I digress.

Dan Matlock has just been released from prison after being convicted for manslaughter. To be completely fair he wasn’t trying to kill anyone and even if he might have thought about it for a minute, well he ended up taking out the wrong man instead. He knows exactly what he is going do, as he heads straight back into the lions den to face the consequences for killing one of their lion cubs.

For some strange reason he never expected the Minton’s to have been planning their own version of the Hunger Games to get revenge. Well, perhaps more tea break than hunger and fight club rather than games, and uhh definitely a tad more English ruffy-tuffy- style. It’s up to Matlock to outsmart them, save his loved ones and somehow equal the score between the two families.

Griffin takes the London gangster feel of the 60s and infuses the Lincolnshire area with the old eye for an eye justice system. It’s my word is my bond, and you have to pay off your debt, kind of mentality in this crime thriller with a noirish feel to it.

I enjoyed it, in fact I think Griffin has a talent for spinning a yarn. It’s a clever tongue in cheek nod to the old gangster regimes, but with a small countryside flair to it.

Buy East of England at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 24 Jan. 2019

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#BlogTour Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton. It’s an incredibly intricate debut novel, which has elements of spirituality, science and follow. the difficult path of migration. It’s the first part of the intended Children of Sarah series, a tale of evolutionary fiction.

About the Author

Who do you think you are? A daunting question for the debut author… but also one to inspire a genre-fluid novel based on the writer’s fascination for what makes humanity tick. Born in Hong Kong to expats from Liverpool (and something of a nomad ever since) Stephanie is now based in London, but manages her sanity by escaping to any kind of coast

Before returning to her first love of creative writing, Stephanie spent much of her youth pursuing alternative forms of storytelling, from stage to screen and media to marketing. For the past fifteen years Stephanie has run her own communications and copywriting company specialised in design, architecture and building. In the meantime an enduring love affair with words and the world of fiction has led her down many a wormhole on the written page, even if the day job confined such adventures to the weekends.

Drawn to what connects rather than separates, Stephanie is intrigued by the spaces between absolutes and opposites, between science and spirituality, nature and culture. This lifelong curiosity has been channelled most recently into her debut novel, Bone Lines. When not bothering Siri with note-taking for her next books and short stories, Stephanie can be found pottering about with poetry, or working out what worries/amuses her most in an opinion piece or an unwise social media post. Although, if she had more sense or opportunity she would be beachcombing, sailing, meditating or making a well-disguised cameo in the screen version of one of her stories. (Wishful thinking sometimes has its rewards?)

Follow @BrethertonWords @Unbound_Digital @unbounders on Twitter #BoneLines

About the book

A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but not without hope or resources. A skilful hunter, she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive.

In present-day London, geneticist Dr Eloise Kluft wrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.

Bone Lines is the story of two women, separated by millennia yet bound by the web of life.  A tale of love and survival – of courage and the quest for wisdom – it explores the nature of our species and asks what lies at the heart of being human.

Although partly set during a crucial era of human history 74,000 years ago, Bones Lines is very much a book for our times. Dealing with themes from genetics, climate change and migration to the yearning for meaning and the clash between faith and reason, it also paints an intimate portrait of who we are as a species. The book tackles some of the big questions but requires no special knowledge of any of the subjects to enjoy.

Alternating between ancient and modern timelines, the story unfolds through the experiences of two unique characters:  One is a shaman, the sole surviving adult of her tribe who is braving a hazardous journey of migration, the other a dedicated scientist living a comfortable if troubled existence in London, who is on her own mission of discovery.

The two are connected not only by a set of archaic remains but by a sense of destiny – and their desire to shape it. Both are pioneers, women of passion, grit and determination, although their day to day lives could not be more different. One lives moment by moment, drawing on every scrap of courage and ingenuity to keep herself and her infant daughter alive, while the other is absorbed by work, imagination and regret. Each is isolated and facing her own mortal dangers and heart-rending decisions, but each is inspired by the power of the life force and driven by love.

Bone Lines stands alone as a novel but also marks the beginning of the intended ‘Children of Sarah’ series.

Review

This is planned as the first in a series called The Children of Sarah, and it absolutely can be read as a standalone book. It fits into quite a few categories when it comes to genre. It is historical fiction, and yet it is also evolutionary, philosophical and features genetics, migration and climate change.

On a side note, I would just like to say that although I enjoyed the way the author goes from past to present with the living Sarah in the past and the bones of Sarah with Eloise in the present, I think the story of Sarah in the past is compelling and strong enough to succeed alone without the storyline of Eloise.

I felt myself drawn more towards Sarah, perhaps because of her determination and strength, despite the fact the two women share those traits, Sarah’s battle was the element of the story that drew me in completely.

We follow the journey of a young woman many thousands of years ago, a woman who possesses gifts of an intuitive nature, passed down from her ancestors. She separates from her tribe and sets out on her own path of migration, because her instincts are telling her that survival lies elsewhere. Her journey, which may be recognisable to some, as she encounters different terrains, wildlife and natural resources, takes place over a few years.

It’s a fascinating read from the perspective of migration, especially when you take into consideration which tribes we are linked to and everywhere they have melded into the story of our evolutionary path. I also enjoyed reading about a possible predisposition of specific genetics, which are or were perhaps a more accurate determinant of survival, as opposed to survival of the fittest.

The focus is on evolution, migration and genetics, but the author does due diligence by including the religious theory of creationism, albeit to disprove and show how improbable it is. It is a physical, genetic and scientifically proven impossibility. Having faith and believing in a higher divinity to comfort yourself is one thing, disregarding factual evidence to support your comfort blanket is quite another. My thoughts, and not those of the writer by the way.

The author invites her readers to discover the journey of our ancestors. To reach far into the past and live through their struggles, determination and watch them influence our future. To take Sarah’s hand as she searches for sustenance, protects herself from the environment and the danger she is surrounded by, and to help her as she searches for the place she believes will make her feel safe.

Bretherton has clearly researched the topics in the story meticulously and presents them in layman’s terms. Combining facts with fiction to create an intriguing read, which is simultaneously also an educational experience. It’s a story that leaves you with food for thought, and those are my favourite kind of books.

I am genuinely looking forward to reading the next part in this series. It has a lot of potential, and has a Jean Auel feel to it, which is combined with the forensic obsession of a Kathy Reichs novel, but without a crime element to the story. It is a tale of survival, pain and the search for a place to establish roots. The story of our footprints in the sand, our scent in the wind and our genetic material morphing and mutating as it moves throughout the years.

Buy Bones Lines at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Publisher: Unbound Digital, Pub date 6 Sept. 2018