Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review: The Lives She Left Behind by James Long

I finished this book last Sunday, which means it only took me about a week to read it - unheard of for me!  It is the sequel to Ferney, which I read a couple of months ago.  When I found out there was a sequel, I bought it (although I think I had to go on, as it was not easily available in the US).

I was expecting something dark and foreboding, like Ferney was, but this book had a different, lighter feeling to it.  The protagonists were younger, so maybe that was it, or maybe it was because I already knew the big secret about Ferney and Gally, so that wasn't waiting to be revealed and the foreshadowing wasn't so strong.

This book is set about 15 years after Ferney was.  Mike Martin still lives in the cottage where he and Gally had settled.  Gally and their daughter, Rose, are gone, so he lives there alone.  Two children are finding themselves mysteriously drawn to Pen Selwood, and they are starting to remember things that they should never know.  Is Jo Driscoll really crazy?  Who is the mysterious friend she has had beside her since childhood?  What is Luke Sturgess doing at the excavation site Jo and her friends are working on?  What keeps drawing Jo and Luke together?

I really enjoyed this book, as evidenced by how quickly I read it.  It didn't have the same Gothic feel to it that Ferney did, but I still enjoyed the story.  Recommended for Anglophiles, as it is set in the small villages in and around Somerset; recommended also for anyone who read Ferney - it was such a different reading experience from the first one, but just as rewarding.  Four out of five Whatevers.


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