Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee Book Review


For fans of Grief is a Thing with Feathers and Road Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected comes a story about a family haunted by an ancient curse. 

Following the tragic death of Stuart Perkins, his younger brother Ian moves into the family home with his wife and young son.

Grief and loss hang heavy over the house and Stuart's death has prompted Ian to delve into the rumours of a mysterious family curse which has allegedly been the cause of several tragedies in the Perkins family history. Ian becomes consumed with his research and is determined to uncover the truth before it's too late.

M Jonathan Lee deals sensitively with issues of grief and depression in this intriguing, intelligently written novel which ends with a heart-stopping twist!


Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee is the first book to be published by new, independent publishers Hideaway Fall. Broken Branches is an emotional and heart wrenching tale that will leave you reeling. It is the first book by M. Jonathan Lee which I have read and I am looking forward to reading more from him in the future.

In the novel we meet Ian Perkins who lives with his wife Rachel and their son Harry. Their home has been in Ian’s family for centuries but Ian believes it comes with a curse that has struck generation after generation. In the grounds of the house stands a large sycamore tree which is believed to be the cause of every tragic event that has struck his family. To prove that the curse is real, Ian is investigating his family history and he uncovers heart wrenching stories as he pursues his quest. And in the present day, Ian can hear strange noises in the house and a young child keeps appearing to him in the night.  Could the curse really be real? Can Ian find out the truth?

The novel is told across two timelines, when Ian is a younger boy living with his brother, mother and father on the family farm and when he is an adult. I really felt as though I engaged with Ian, particularly during the flash back scenes to his youth. As I got to know Ian’s character, I wanted to understand what the curse was about and why Ian is obsessed with understanding it in the future. The farm was a great setting to use and I could clearly picture it inside my mind, I could see the infamous tree very vividly.

The final revelations in the book were heart breaking, even though, towards the end, I could see where the book was going. Finishing the book has made me want to find out more about Ian and his family; although I thought that the novel was brought to a good conclusion which tied everything up, I wanted to know what happens next to Ian and his family and how they will carry on with the rest of their lives. For me that is always the sign of a good book, when I am sad to say goodbye to the characters. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot as I don’t want to spoil it for readers but there were times when I really wanted to shake Ian’s parents during the flash back scenes. I always felt as though Ian was side lined as a young man and I felt sorry for him a lot of the time. For me I was slightly confused with the timelines in the novel towards the end but that didn’t spoil the overall story, it did become clearer as the novel drew towards its conclusion.

Overall I enjoyed reading Broken Branches; M. Jonathan Lee is a writer to watch. The suspense in the novel kept me turning the pages. Thank you to Hideaway Fall for sending me a copy to review. 

Publisher: Hideaway Fall

Publication date: 27th July 2017

Print length: 304 pages

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