Everything changes for Jim the day he finds a pair of binoculars and picks them up. Kneeling on the back of the sofa looking out over the lamplight night from his London council flat he spots a barn owl. Using his trusty bird book for reference he begins to learn the Latin names for the birds that he spots down by the railway tracks. At the beginning of the summer holidays in 1992 Jim meets a girl near his favourite bird watching spot and the whole course of his life changes.
Set in London this story spans twenty years as the older Jim, now a teacher, reflects on his younger self to help Shamayal, but is Jim’s story strong and relevant enough to overcome the culture of the streets today?
Jane’s writing drew me in from the very first page with a school playground fight that certainly seemed only too real and believable. This fight would have consequences to all involved as Jim overstepped his boundary as a teacher to try to help Shamayal. The fact that Jim and Shamayal are both missing important people in their lives makes a deep impression on the way they act, as well as strongly influencing their hopes and dreams. Jane is one of those writers that make you really believe the story you are being told; the descriptions of places meant that I felt I was by the railway tracks, in the high-rise flat or in the school playground witnessing a fight, a true gift.
At times I found the story is heart-breaking, at others touching as the wonderful characters took up residence in my heart especially my favourite secondary character Bins. At times I was able to sympathise with each of characters, at others I wanted to shout at them but at no time did I stop caring about any of them. This to me is the true measure of a good read!
The eBook is available now and the paperback is due out on 1 December 2013 A Funeral for an Owl
I got to know Jane when she commented on one of my earliest reviews on Amazon for her award winning book Half-truths & White Lies – click on the cover to see my review
It was her historical novel I Stopped Time: A Historical Novel that cemented the fact that she was now a must-read author. I loved this book so much as it tells a story using photographs.
Click on the cover to read my review.
Jane’s third book These Fragile Things is set in the 1980’s which made for some fantastic nostalgia of my teenage years!
If you haven’t already done so please read the interview Jane Davis kindly gave me to celebrate the publication of A Funeral for an Owl. Alternatively you can contact her using the following links