A Year of Orenda – The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

Ah … this book. My Book of the Year for 2018, it had me blubbing at the postman I was so emotional reading it. And I don’t often do emotional so that shows how powerful a read it was. You can find my thoughts on the book here. We even gave a copy to a friend who is a hardened crime fiction lover who rarely devles into the emotional and she adored it too. Today it’s time to find out what Mandie thought as part of our year of Orenda celebration. Read on for more about the book.

Source: Amazon

About the Book

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books | Orenda Bookstore | Hive

Mandie’s Thoughts

If a book can reduce my sister to producing “snot bubbles” (her words not mine) then it really does have to be a corker of an emotional read. The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a book I have been both dying to read and dreading reading in equal measure for this very reason, and now that I have read it I am worried that no matter what I write I will not do it justice.

The book is told through the eyes of Ben and Andrew, two people who meet by chance and whose lives are changed for ever in more ways than one. The opening chapter is set in a Lion sanctuary and this is where we first meet Ben and start to understand some of the pain he is going through if not the reason why. He is suffering with who he is and having to accept things that are beyond his control without the support of loved ones that you really can’t help but feel for him even when he is being a bit of an idiot (by his own admission).I am going to admit that I absolutely loved the chapters set in the Lion sanctuary as Louise has really captured the essence of the location, transporting you to a place that is as beautiful as it is dangerous.

The love story between Ben and Andrew really draws you in and even though you know early on that the relationship has clearly ended you become so invested in their story you are still holding out for that little hope of a happy ending for the pair of them. The stumbling blocks they think they will have to overcome including Ben’s father are nothing compared to the truth that is unearthed and trust me when I say that both this and what follows will certainly get to even the most hardened heart.

This is however not just about the relationship between Ben and Andrew although it is the heart of the story. Louise also delves into the complicated relationships between family and how secrets can pull even the most dysfunctional family apart and cause the most pain. The relationship between Ben and his father Will was never the best but revelations that could have distanced them forever may just be the thing that helps heal the rift. I don’t know how she does it but with The Lion Tamer who Lost, Louise has once again produced a stunning book that will mesmerise the reader right to the end It is certainly one of the best books I have read so far this year and one I will remember for quite some time to come.

About the Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

Books By Louise Beech

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