Readers Book Reviews

The Pastoral

"At a time when there are many novels being published which are based on the events of World War I, this book was a refreshing way of dealing with the subject matter, with its two interwoven themes of war and music. The events were portrayed realistically and the characters thoroughly believable, even when their thoughts and ideas were only imagined by the author. He shows great intuition and insight into the personalities of the two main protagonists, no doubt drawing on his own experience as a musician and composer. I found myself gripped by the events and couldn't put it down until I had finished it."

"Was recommended this book by a friend. It is definitely not my usual read so was slightly hesitant to order. So glad that I did read it though. With out giving too much away, it is very cleverly written showing how the war is seen from two different view points and both main characters are equally vital to the story. Although obviously only small parts are factual, the authors imagination on the lives of both Ralph and George are completely believable, and I somehow feel a little wiser for reading it."

"I've just completed this book having saved it to read before I delve into Louisa Young's The Heroes Welcome as I thought they would sit well together. I was deeply moved by this story which I read over the period of the D-Day Commemorations and also just a few days after attending the funeral of a 99yr old WW2 veteran during which the music of Vaughn Williams was beautifully played in our Minster Church here in Kings Lynn. If I'm honest I found the start of the book a little slow going, although always interesting to read of places that are familiar, however the story really comes alive when Ralph and George's paths diverge and particularly once we are dealing with the horrors of trench warfare. The author deals with some very difficult situations in a sensitive and thoughtful way without protecting the reader from true horrors that he's trying to convey, very well done. I think this is tremendous book from a first time Author, although it is clear that he too grew into the story and his writing style, great potential here.
There are not many books that leave me in tears, but this one did, highly recommended."

"Not normally the sort of book I'd choose as I tend to read fantasy based stories and books. This however, surprised me. From about the fourth chapter, I was invested in the characters and their lives. The author paints a very realistic and often abhorrent picture of the realities of trench warfare. I was both scared and enthralled to read on, but found myself completely absorbed in the two main character's lives and was really impressed by how the author managed to paint a vivid picture of the surroundings and the emotions of the characters, main and supporting. I actually cried at parts, which is a testament to how invested I was in the characters. This book is not for the faint hearted, it explores some very real scenarios with brutal honesty and the way the author has woven his knowledge of the facts with his ideas for the story itself, is inspired."

"An enjoyable read set in Norfolk during WW1. Couldn't' put it down as needed to know what was happening to the characters and the outcome of the wars years in their lives. Nicely written without being to heavy."

"A lovely story, passionately told, with some really good themes. Some of the text is a little clunky but, for all that, I did find myself choking back the tears as I read the final pages. I look forward to seeing how this author develops."

"A very good and enjoyable read that shows how the war was seen from two differing opinions. The flow between the two characters is controlled well and both a re vital to the story. The Pastoral offers an insight into the atrocities of war inside the trenches is brought very much alive by the authors imagination which is embedded with factual knowledge throughout. I particularly enjoyed the story when it was more graphic, but this is testament to the author’s ability to draw you into the story and make it believable."

"I couldn't put this kindle book down... it was so enjoyable. The story was fantastically written and very easy to read. I am really looking forward to starting Albatross Bay."

"A book which gives an excellent insight into life in the trenches during WW I and does not just concentrate on the brave side of soldiers but also their deep feelings, thoughts and worries. The way the book is written shows the author's emotional involvement in his work. Not being somebody who is normally interested in reading books on history I must say that I absolutely loved it and had trouble putting it down."

Albatross Bay

"What a fantastic story! It pulls at your heart strings and has you totally hooked from the beginning. It took me on a gripping, emotional journey! Thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you and well done!"

"Beautiful moving read, a book I could not put down. Cant wait for his next book."

"A story that touches the heart, makes you reflect and helps you understand people's behaviour."

Playing Beneath the Havelock House

"This is the first book I have read by the author Jon Lawrence and what a find. This book was truly moving and brought me to tears as it explored sorrow, loss, suffering and resilience. The characters were true to life and delivered raw emotions. It was beautifully written by an author who seems very emotive. I look forward to reading further books by this author and would definitely recommend it to others."

"Love the twists and the sensitive way it has been written. It flows beautifully between different perspectives and brought me near to tears. Heartfelt and compassionate."

"A lovely read. I read it in three days. Once started I couldn't put it down. Very loving relationships and friendships explored!"

"Not the kind of book I would usually read but it was recommended to me and I'm so glad it was! Beautifully written with some lovely descriptive phrases and some genuinely funny passages. The main characters Dai and Bronnie are well fleshed out and Harry and Hemi really grab at your heart strings. Two weeks after reading and I'm still thinking about it which tells me it's a winner! Definitely an author I'll look out for in future."

"This was my first time reading a Jon Lawrence but it most definitely won't be my last. I loved the perfect pace of the book, the characters were very realistic and the balance between the plot and the emotions it evoked was perfect. Very well written, extremely believable, I was right back in New Zealand with each written word. A real page turner that made me shed a few tears...what more do you need!"

"My first book by this author but I will certainly be reading any he releases. A very moving beautifully written book with lovely characters and descriptions, it kept me wanting to read from start to finish and not put it down. Not the ending I expected either. Excellent read, cant wait for more. Already ordered The Pastoral."

"Having never read any books by this author I wasn't sure what to expect?! All I can say is it had me gripped from start to finish, that I did not want it to end. The outcome was not what I was expecting at all.
I look forward to reading more books from Jon Lawrence & will be recommending his work to friends."

"I seldom read books, but I was captivated by the imagination and writing style in this novel. From start to finish I felt I was right in there with the main characters. Beautifully written, with an unexpected twist towards the end, I can thoroughly recommend this book."