Thursday 27 July 2017
Broken Branches - M. Jonathan Lee
Broken Branches is predominantly a story about Ian Perkins, a man who finds himself living back in his childhood home with his wife and young son, but living constantly with the fear of the family curse.
Cobweb Cottage has been in the Perkins family for years and being back there Ian is determined to discover the origins of the curse and in doing so save his son Harry from its clutches. The only thing is, while Ian is busy researching his family tree, he's neglecting everything in his real life.
Broken Branches is a dark, psychological thriller which borders on the supernatural at times. Told as a dual time frame, following Ian both in the present day and as a young boy growing up at Cobweb Cottage with his brother, which creates an unsettling, atmospheric, and at times claustrophobic read.
M. Jonathan Lee has written a thought-provoking book which tackles some very difficult topics including mental illness and suicide but he's done it in an extremely deft and sensitive manner. I loved the way that the mystery of the story was slowly revealed and as a reader I was intrigued as to where the story was going and what was real and what was in Ian's head. I also loved the clever title, Broken Branches, relating to not only the menacing tree in the garden which could almost be considered another character in the book, but to the splintering of the family over the generations.
Broken Branches is a compelling read and one that I would highly recommend.
With kind thanks to publishers Hideaway Fall for the review copy.