Skip to main content

Featured

Death at Lovers Leap by Catherine Coles #Review#PublicationDay

    Today I am featuring the third in a cozy crime series by Catherine Coles , The Martha Miller Mysteries . Death at Lovers' Leap is published today, on February 16th by Boldwood Books .You can read my review of the first in the series, Poison at the Village Show   here amd the second, Death at the Country Fair   here .     Westleham Village 1948 As Valentine's Day rolls around, Martha Miller finds herself unusually melancholy at the state of her own love life. With husband Stan still missing and with her growing feelings for Vicar Luke still shrouded in secrecy, there’s only one place Martha can go - famous local beauty spot, Lovers' Leap. Legend has it that those with a broken heart throw themselves off the bridge that spans the river, but Martha is certainly not about to do such a thing! But it looks like someone else has had other ideas…. Because there in the river, Martha finds a body. But is this misadventure, a moment of lovesick madness, or is foul play a

The Six Loves of Billy Binns by Richard Lumsden #Review #BillyBinns #TinderPress


 The Six Loves of Billy Binns is the debut novel by Richard Lumsden. It spans the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, as Billy looks back over his life. It will be published on |January 24th 2019 in hardback, ebook, and audiobook.
 
At well over a hundred years old, Billy Binns believes he’s the oldest man in Europe and knows his days are numbered. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. 

As he looks back at the relationships that have coloured his life - and the events that shaped the century - he recalls a lifetime of hope and heartbreak.

This is the story of an ordinary man’s life, an enchanting novel which takes you on an epic yet intimate journey that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on the universal turmoil of love.

My Thoughts

This novel takes you back and forth through Billy Binns' life as he looks back at the six people he has loved. It is a touching and sometimes, poignant look at the life of an 'ordinary' man over a century in which attitudes and daily life changed so considerably. As you follow Billy's story, you are taken to the first and second world wars, to the front line and to London in the Blitz, then on into the Swinging Sixties. The story is rich with the period detail, but the striking part to me is that you see the times through the prism of Billy's memories which seem to come in and out of focus. At times, it all feels blurred at the edges, as Billy struggles to recall. This feels especially so with his memories of Archie, his son.

    I thought that the structuring of the story into five sections gives the novel direction and definitely helps the reader along. Billy surprises and frustrates you as you realise the choices he has made at key moments which have led him up a different path, not always the one he wants to go up. I enjoyed his wry humour and observations on what is really important. It seems to be a gentle story but under the surface, there are some devastating emotions swirling.

In short: One man's life told, warts and all.


 
About the Author

 Richard Lumsden has worked as an actor, writer and composer in television, film and theatre for 30 years. As an actor his films include Downhill, Sightseers, Sense & Sensibility and The Darkest Hour, as well as numerous television shows and theatre productions. THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNS is his first novel.


A note from the author: I was twenty-seven in 1992 and living in Shepherd’s Bush when I first had the idea for this book. Inspired by old photographs on the walls of the library (now the Bush theatre) of trams on the Green, and an old white arch beside the central line station, I mapped out Billy’s story but became daunted by the amount of research required to detail all of the last century and turned to writing TV & radio scripts instead.

In 2000, I discovered a series of booklets published by the Shepherd’s Bush Local History Society. I phoned their secretary, Joan Blake, who invited me to their monthly meetings in the back of St Luke’s Church on the Uxbridge Road. Over the next few months I listened to stories of growing up in W12 through the 20s, 30s & 40s, and watched slide shows featuring the exhibition palaces and canals at White City. With the kind help of Joan and her friends I was finally able to get started. It took me eighteen months to research and write part one of the novel. Then, faced with more intensive bouts of historical research for parts two to five, I decided I wasn’t cut out to write novels and abandoned the idea.

By 2009, having already worked on a couple of plays for BBC Radio 4, I decided to write ‘The Six Loves Of Billy Binns’ as a play too. It still needed more research but a 45 minute radio script was less daunting than going back to the novel. In 2009 Sir Tom Courtenay gave Billy his voice, and the radio play, of which I’m very proud, still gets repeated from time to time. However, I knew I’d bottled out by not telling Billy’s story as originally intended.
In 2015 I turned fifty, and at a very different stage of life, twenty-three years after starting part one of the novel. A supportive literary agent encouraged me to get it finished. I went back to my Shepherd’s Bush Local History Society booklets and took another two years to complete a draft to send out to publishers.

It’s a story about love, disappointment, and the flaws that make us human. Billy has a tendency to re-interpret his own history, but ultimately he’s an ordinary man who lived an ordinary life, and I hope the readers might take him to heart on his journey to remember what love feels like.

You can follow Richard here: Website   |  Twitter

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Richard Lumsden, Tinder Press and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours 

                                                 Catch up with the rest of the tour! 








Comments

Post a Comment

Popular Posts