Thursday, 10 April 2014

Guest Book Review: James Long - The Lives She Left Behind

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

In a Somerset school, a teenage boy confronts a teacher with a story he should know nothing about. The boy's impossible knowledge uncovers memories Michael Martin has done his utmost to forget - and soon propels him into danger. 

As Martin confronts his past once more, three girls arrive in the village of Pen Selwood, one of them drawn by an ancient instinct to find a man called Ferney. 

Her actions reignite a love story, a force that cannot be broken, irrespective of the hurt and danger it brings to those around them...

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Having not previously read anything by James Long, I didn’t realise that this book is a sequel to a book called Ferney by the same author. However, I managed to read this book by itself and still followed the storyline. 

The book opens with the birth of a little girl called Jo whose father died just as she was being born, this tragedy affects her mum’s relationship with her daughter and Jo shows signs of having been affected by this by talking to an imaginary friend called Gally. When Jo has finished her exams at school, she joins her best friends Ali and Lucy on an archaeological dig in the hope of meeting some older boys. Here Jo encounters a boy called Luke and a teacher called Mike Martin, an incident which turns her life upside down. 

It transpires that Jo is in fact Gally, who has been born in several different bodies for several 
hundred years and each time she is reborn she is compelled to discover Ferney, her one true love, who is also capable of being born in different bodies. 

I have to confess this book started quite slowly and was a little confusing in the first quarter and I was tempted to give up. However once Ferney and Gally discover each other’s true identities, the story picks up pace and it becomes a race against time to be reunited and solve the dilemmas they have created in the lives of the people previously in their lives. 

This was a wonderfully exciting time-slip story which revisits the past through the eyes of Ferney and Gally and shows how in each lifetime Ferney and Gally had to overcome many obstacles to rediscover each other and along the way they suffered many heartbreaks and tragedies but this paled into significance to the urgent need to find each other every time they inhabited new bodies. 

I would highly recommend this book which is filled with fascinating historical detail but is above all a celebration of a love that transcends death and lives forever. I am now off to see if I can get my hands on the first book Ferney to catch up with Ferney and Gally’s previous adventures.

I'd like to thank Margot at Quercus for sending me a copy of this book and Louise for reviewing it for me.  

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