Monday, 25 April 2016

Review of The Other Side by Terry Tyler

I've already read several novels by Terry Tyler
and know to expect something good. 

And The Other Side really is very good.

It's a story about making choices and the impact one decision can have on all the rest of life. And subsequent choices and their impact and so on.
But what makes the novel so interesting is that the tale is told in reverse chronological order.
So as the story goes back in time, the reader is already aware of the consequences of earlier decisions made by the main characters.
And then new, earlier choices are introduced which sometimes turn the story upside-down prompting a complete re-appraisal of what has already happened.

Consequently the novel is most satisfyingly complex. 

But it's made even more complex as there are four main characters each with their own story. Each of the characters' lives are profoundly impacted by the choices made but in unexpected ways.

The construction of the novel is very clever 

and the conclusion, which brings the stories up to date, is most surprising.
The more you get to know the characters the more their stories resonate with real life. Katya, Cathie, Alexa and Sandie really come to life along with their boyfriends and lovers, husbands and in-laws, children, friends and workmates. Although at first there are aspects of the main characters that are rather unlikeable, by the end of the novel, when all is revealed, they have become the reader's firm friends.

The Other Side is highly readable with a lovely, intimate narrator's voice 

that draws you in and keeps you totally engaged from start to finish.

It's such an entertaining novel and one that really makes you think. 

Highly recommended.


Terry Tyler's Amazon author page

The Other Side

Follow Terry Tyler on Twitter

Review of Is It Her? by Jonathan Hill and Kath Middleton

I've read just about everything that has been published by authors Jonathan Hill and Kath Middleton. 

When I saw on-line that they were collaborating on a new book I had high expectations that it would be good and, of course, I wasn't disappointed.

The two authors have taken a beautifully detailed painting 

by talented artist Rod Buckingham as the starting point for their latest work. They've each written a novella which explores their separate response to this one painting.

The painting is rich in narrative potential 

and I defy anyone not to start making up their own story as they study the image.
However, apart from the shared starting point and a setting in the years around the Second World War, the novellas are very different.

Jonathan Hill 

has again demonstrated his ability to create dark, intense atmosphere as he explores intimate secrets between a quartet of disparate yet closely linked individuals. The storyline reflects the strains and stresses of the war-time era. However, the personal conflicts and tragedies that develop are the focus for this first 'Is it Her?' novella.

Kath Middleton 

presents a sweeping overview of the same period in history which incorporates one of the most awful tales of war-time betrayal that I've ever read. The perspective of younger people is explored with sensitivity and insight in the context of a war-time romance which has a warm and unexpected conclusion.

Both novellas are a pleasure to read. 

Each author demonstrates an expertise in writing on the smaller scale with depth and complexity. It was fascinating to observe how they both used the painting to stimulate their writing in such different ways.

Highly recommended.


Jonathan Hill's author page at Amazon

Kath Middleton's author page at Amazon

Is it Her?

Rod Buckingham on-line

Follow Jonathan Hill on Twitter

Follow Kath Middleton on Twitter

You might also like this guest review of 'Is It Her?'