I’m over the moon today to be sharing my review as part of the blog tour for the highly anticipated Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee. I devoured this book, I honestly couldn’t put it down. I also have a little guest post from the author telling us about where the inspiration for Broken Branches come from.
About the book
‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’
A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.
Published July 27th 2017 by Hideaway Fall and available to purchase at Amazon.co.uk
The hype for Broken Branches on social media has been wonderful, the first book from new publishers Hideaway Falls and I was really excited to be able to read it.
Ian Perkins returns to his family home Cobweb Cottage with his wife and son after a family tragedy. This is a home that has a family curse, a home that has haunted the Perkins family for many years and a home that has many secrets. Ian sets about discovering more to this family curse and as the story unfolds the more unsettled I felt.
The story moves from the present to the past, slowly revealing the Perkins past and the tragedies that have been bestowed upon them over the years. With a slight gothic feel and a hint of supernatural to it Broken Branches is sometimes quite a dark read that left me quite unsettled, I found it to be a book that I really needed to continue reading no matter what time it was, I mean who needs sleep anyway?
Ian was an intriguing character, I really felt for him and could understand his need to find out and research the past but as the book moved on his obsession became apparent and I knew there was more to the story than meets the eye but I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Then BOOM, holy smoke the ending really wasn’t what I was expecting. I’m not going to say anymore on that matter but it totally blew me away.
Broken Branches is written incredibly well, it’s not fast paced but it slowly builds with each turn of the page and draws you in. Covering different themes such as grief and mental illness it is written with sensitivity. At just under 300 pages I had every intention of just reading a couple of chapters late one evening but before I knew it I had devoured the book in one sitting.
Broken Branches is a story that really got under my skin, it had twists and turns and it gave me goose bumps with it’s eerie feel. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I definitely recommend reading.
What was your inspiration for the novel?
In a similar way to all of my previous novels, Broken Branches is based on an element of truth. I usually pick up on something I experience and then develop a wider story around that. With Broken Branches the situation was the same.
My grandfather passed away in 2015 at the age of ninety-seven. Following his death, I began to research details of the family with the assistance of my Uncle Stephen (who incidentally became a character in the novel). I studied the family tree, and discovered that in each generation of our family going back one hundred and fifty years, there has always been the sad instance where a child dies before their parents. In other words, each set of parents have had to bury a child. My Uncle sent some old photographs through and one was a picture from the late nineteenth century of a stern looking middle-aged man. On the back, handwritten were the words “George, the dog hanger.”
Further research led to the rather grisly story that George had become angry with his children’s disobedient dog and to teach it a lesson he had hanged it from a tree in the front garden and left its carcass there for three months. This got me thinking that perhaps his actions had led to the family becoming cursed in relation to the children passing away before their parents. The story just developed from there.
Obviously, Broken Branches has a loose theme about a curse and George’s actions, but I hope that the story gives far more than that to reader. Focusing on grief, loss, family life and understanding why people are the way that they are. As always though, it’s nice to throw in a twist to keep the reader guessing right to the very end.
Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee is out now (£8.99, Hideaway Fall)
My thanks got to Hideaway Fall, M Jonathan Lee and Midas PR for the chance to read Broken Branches and be part of the blog tour.