It’s a real pleasure today to be helping launch the blog tour (and sharing my review) for Fiona and the Whale by Hannah Lynn, independently published on 6th October, and available for preorder via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for my advance reading e-copy.
I’ve been meaning to read one of Hannah Lynn’s books for a while – and, at last, I had the opportunity with this one. The ideas behind it really captured my imagination – and, through her author Facebook page, I followed her quest for the perfect cover. The balloons would have worked, Hannah – but didn’t she do well? And I confirm that this book is much more than that perfect cover – I very much enjoyed what was inside too…
With her personal life on the rocks, it’s going to take a whale sized miracle to keep her afloat.
Event planner Fiona Reeves did not have her husband’s sudden departure on her schedule. However, she’s certain that it’s only a hiccup and he’ll be back in no time, begging for forgiveness. Fortunately there’s a distraction of mammoth proportions swimming in the River Thames.
Absorbed by the story of Martha the sperm whale, Fiona attempts to carry on life as usual as she awaits her husband’s return. However, nothing can prepare her for the dramatic turn of events that throws her life into ever greater turmoil. The road ahead has many paths and for Fiona it’s time to sink or swim.
Fiona and the Whale is a poignant and often hilarious contemporary fiction novel. If you enjoy topical tales, second chances and a little bit of romance, you’ll love this new book from the Kindle Storyteller Award Winner, Hannah Lynn.
It would be wrong of me not to use the word “quirky” somewhere in my review – it’s not often that an author steps out from behind her characters, to check that you’re happy with the story so far, and share her thoughts on where it may go next. But it really works extremely well, and was just one way in which this book proved to be full of surprises, each one more unexpected and delightful than the last.
Now where does it sit in the market? Readers of light romance will love it – the romantic content isn’t heavy, but my word, he’s just gorgeous! It’s one for anyone who enjoys a second chance romance – characters who are a little older, the cheating husband, the embarrassing mistakes, the chance of a happy ending (but only after climbing quite a few more obstacles). It certainly ticks the “romcom” box too – the humour, I thought, was perfectly judged, and frequently made me laugh out loud.
The characters are just excellent – you might not take to Fiona at first, when she’s a rather intense workaholic, but as her character develops you’ll come to love her as much as I did. I really enjoyed her supportive friendship too, as it goes through so many twists and turns. The emotional touch is perfect too, and particularly poignant in its treatment of empty nest syndrome.
And then there’s the biggest surprise of all – this book also has a very strong message, brought into being by Fiona’s concern for Martha the stranded whale. It’s so cleverly handled – from its gentle start at the cafe serving “waste food”, the grocer selling unwrapped and imperfect fruit and veg, through to Fiona’s personal involvement and the havoc it temporarily creates. The way the story builds, with its highly original touches, is very cleverly done – and, all of a sudden, you find you’re not just reading a good story any more, but that the book is making you think – quite seriously – about wider issues and the future of the planet.
I was so impressed by this book and its clever writing – but I also thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. Hannah Lynn, you have a new fan… this book was just wonderful.
Rather appropriately, Hannah has added a Whale Sized Giveaway, open internationally – a $25 Amazon Gift card, 2 print copies and 10 ebooks of Fiona and the Whale, 5 ebooks of The Afterlife of Water Augustus, and 5 ebooks of Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin. Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
(Please note that I am not responsible for the selection of winners or despatch/delivery of the prizes.)
About the author
Hannah Lynn is an award-winning novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel – in 2015, she has since gone on to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist (which won the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the Gold Medal for Best Adult Fiction ebook at this year’s IPPY Awards) and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.
While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description. She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimagining of a classic Greek myth.
Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction. Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.
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