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• Publication date: 15 Jul 2018

• Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS

• Language: English

• ASIN: B07DFQ9SW7

Source: ARC copy thanks to Orenda Publishing via Anne Cater – thank you

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…

Oh Louise Beech, you have captured my heart, piece by piece with this wonderful book.

I took my time reading this because I couldn’t bear it to be finished. I read and savoured each sentence of it, finding something special on every page.

This book is right at the top of my outstanding reads of the past decade, never mind this years list.

I needed to be entirely alone while I was reading this to breathe it all in.

I loved the characters, Ben and his dysfunctional but loving family and the man he fell in love with, Andrew the writer whose excerpts from the children’s book by the same name The Lion Tamer Who Lost prefaced each page. I adored the bits set in Zimbabwe in the Lion sanctuary where Ben helped look after a lion cub called Lucy on her path to freedom. The sights and sounds of Ben’s time there from the smell of lion shit and fur to watching the African sunsets with Esther.

I loved Ben’s misuse of words malapropisms, a trait he inherited from his late mother.

I’m so exaspalated that Lucy doesn’t seem to be accepting me.’ ‘Exaspalated?’ Ben sighs. ‘You know what I mean.

Louise draws on her own experiences of caring for a diabetic family member to describe writer Andrew’s low blood sugar ‘hypos’ and Ben’s care of him. I held my breath during this time and during subsequent events.

There were many elements and atmospheres to this book, all blended together so seamlessly and I felt and lived every one of them in this beautifully drawn masterpiece of a novel.

I laughed, cried, grieved and then grieved some more because I’d finished reading the book even though I’d made it last as long as I could. I haven’t done this since I was a child reading my favourite book.

When I’d finished the book, I stroked the cover, hugged it and put it back on the bookshelf to be read again.

To Purchase from Amazon U.K.

To Purchase from Waterstones

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. Her next book, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Maria in the Moon was compared to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and widely reviewed. All three books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. 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 and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012

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