Ada - Amazon
A compelling read. I very quickly became immersed in the different worlds that Bethan was inhabiting (or enduring) and the writer's skill with events and timings meant that they didn't become confused. I loved the vivid descriptions of the countryside and flora, which brought the area to life and as I was previously unaware of the Rebecca Riots it was good to be enlightened with credible personal narratives of those involved. The dramatic events carry you along, whilst I often paused and reread passages to enjoy the richness of language, and the Welsh phrases - plus translations - enhanced this. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next book in the Quintet.
Ms D - Amazon
This is a gripping and evocative read with its roots firmly tethered in rural Wales. The strong storyline is peopled with vivid characters that weave between past and present in an atmosphere of brooding suspense.
Teenage Bethan is taken to a remote Welsh cottage to help combat anorexia but history and long dead lives begin to seep through into the present. In this place, the past can’t let go.
If you enjoy a good story tinged with the supernatural I’d highly recommend this book.
Elaine - Amazon
A beautifully written first novel - An anorexic Bethan retreats to her late grandmother's cottage with her father to try to settle her health issues but becomes entwined in old local happenings. The story is centred on Wales and the differential between time zones past and present is cleverly presented.
There is a lot of scene setting , this will bear even more fruit in later novels to come in the series - I found the continued usage of Welsh locations and as house names a bit confusing at times , probably because it's unfamiliar to me but it did not detract from the beautiful descriptive prose of the book.
Well worth reading
Lin - Amazon
I've always enjoyed stories which use the idea of past and present overlapping, so I was pleased to discover this book. Bethan, a troubled teenager, becomes entangled in the events of the past, when South Wales was gripped by the Rebecca Riots.
The characters are sympathetic, the place well described, and it builds to a satisfying climax. I'm looking forward to the next in the series!
Philippa Bridge - Amazon
Wraps around and draws you in from the outset. Small particles of the story linger in your mind, magical, descriptive, unsettling. Past and present collide, utterly brilliant. You need to read
F. Henry - Amazon
I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to read a full-length novel by this author, having previously enjoyed his collection of short stories (Lantern Light), several of which I felt would have worked well as the basis for longer work, as the characterisation was a particular strength of the writing.
I was not disappointed and really enjoyed this book, reading much of it in about three sessions and wanting to keep going, particularly during the denouement. I have always liked books with a mystical/psychological element and some of my favourite books are historical and/or time-shift novels. As a relatively recent arrival in south-west Wales, I found the local history connection fascinating, the Rebecca Riots not having crossed my path previously.
In particular, I admired how the author makes both the present and past eras come to life, as well as cleverly intertwining the two, while never leaving one confused. He makes the reader care about the destinies of characters now and then, which can't be an easy feat to achieve. An intelligent and beautifully-crafted novel. Looking forward to further instalments of the planned quintet!
Annie Lewis - Amazon
From the moment you open this book you are taken into two different worlds which collide magically. The first is a modern family facing problems which will touch many, the second is a harsh reminder of the struggles our ancestors faced, not so many years ago, just to keep food on the table and avoid the workhouse. The characters are so real and the back story of each of their lives so interesting that I just didn't want it to end. Having said that, I don't remember the last time I read a book so quickly - even into the wee small hours! This book is a 'must read' for everyone from early teens upwards - beautifully written, I was transported immediately. I am so glad it is part of a quintet!
B Bennett - Amazon
This book captivated me from the very start. I fell very easily into Bethan's world of darkness and light. She is a young girl who desperately wants to understand both her condition (severe anorexia) but also the past into which she is frequently drawn. James Morgan-Jones has an incredible gift. He has the ability to capture the Reader, to involve you, to want you to understand because you care. This book is highly charged with emotion, dark places, mysteries of the past and historic facts which makes it even more compelling to read. I've read it twice now and eagerly await the next book. I very highly recommend it. BB
Amazon Customer - Amazon
On the sort of cold, grey days we have had recently, there really is nothing else to do but curl up on the sofa and lose yourself in a good book - and this is just the book! Beautifully written, the author is a real master at bringing characters to life, evoking atmosphere and place and creating the tension of two time periods colliding! I really didn't want to put it down and towards the end, as the storm built and the flood water rose, I had to keep reading to find out whether all would be resolved for those who needed closure! This is a first novel not to be missed - I can't wait to read the next one!
Glenda - Amazon
Brilliant read..great story. Excellent use of literature,left me mesmerised and transported back to its time in the book! Could not put it down! A must read! Well done !
A Martin - Amazon
What an astonishingly good debut book. I was captivated by the lyrical and poetic prose from page one. The author has skilfully woven the different time zones of the various threads of this story. So much so, that they blurred at one time before merging, like wild water, into one riveting finale. Highly recommended reading and Iook forward to the sequel, confident I will enjoy it as much as the first book in the quintet.
Telford AJ Williams - Amazon
I read the author's collection of short stories (Lantern Light - published under the name AJ Morgan) last year and enjoyed them immensely, so I was really looking forward to reading his first novel. He did not disappoint!
As other reviewers have pointed out, the book has two timelines which unwind side by side and both come to a satisfying and page turning conclusion.
The publishers describe the book as 'supernatural mystery' but it is much more than this. The book deals with universal themes - love, loss, betrayal and redemption. The characters jump off the page and the sense of place the writer evokes is amazing. I was brought up in Carmarthenshire where the book is set and his perceptive writing made me look afresh and re-evaluate this area and its people.
If Daphne du Maurier, Dylan Thomas and Kate Atkinson had got together to collaborate on a novel, this would be the result.
My book of the year and I can't wait for the next installment in the series..
Adrian Gilpin - Amazon
This is a gloriously clever and thrilling book. The author cuts through spacetime, leaving not just his readers but his characters in an unsettling universe of overlapping realities. I could not put this book down. In part, the tone of the narrative is absolutely "normal" and grittily unforgiving in its observations of family dynamics and psychology. In part, the narrative is spooky and haunting - creepily raising the hairs on the neck as time falls away causing history to inhabit the here and now. The storytelling is compelling, the wordsmithery a joy.
An Amazon Customer -
Once I got used to the switching back and forth in time, the two melded together into a fascinating story I just couldn't stop reading.
Gillian Bell - Amazon
An ambitious novel.
A portrait of an anorexic girl, this novel explores the connexion between Bethan's rejection of her body, and her sensitivity to disembodied presences from the past. The past that she discovers is something that lies waiting to be put to rest, and in being the instrument through which this happens, we sense that Bethan begins her own healing process. The book enters dark territory, with the disturbance in Bethan's family, and the terrible events of the Rebecca Riots that took place in Carmarthen in the mid nineteenth century. But the darkness is not overwhelming because of the presence of down-to-earth characters from both past and present who reach out into the troubles and bring renewed life - where they can.