Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the book launch for M. Jonathan Lee’s latest novel, ‘337’. In this post, I’ll be giving you some information on the book, as well as sharing a mini-review. Thanks so much to Hideaway Fall for the opportunity! So, keep reading…
337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens.
It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.
Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.
About the Author.
M. Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. He is the author of 6 novels: “The Radio” (2012), “The Page” (January 2015), “A Tiny Feeling Of Fear” (September 2015), “Broken Branches”, (2017) “Drift Stumble Fall” (2018) and “337” (30th November 2020). Lee was born in Yorkshire, UK and still lives there today with his family.
‘337’ follows the life of Samuel Darte, who is still struggling after his mother’s disappearance whilst in his teens. He learns that his grandmother lives in a nursing home nearby and is seriously ill, and so he begins to visit her in an attempt to discover what really happened the day his mother vanished. Will he ever find out the truth about that fateful day?
This book is not my usual type of read – I’d describe it as more of a family drama than my go-to psychological thriller/crime novel. The focus is much more on the characters rather than the plot, so not much actually “happens” in this novel. Although this was a different kind of read for me, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
This novel contains a very quirky feature: it has a double-ended upside-down opening, meaning that the opening can be read from either end of the novel and the story still makes sense, with each opening giving the story a slightly different angle/meaning. Please note, the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only.
The characters are fantastically-written, particularly the protagonist Samuel. He is a kind, caring and vulnerable young man, who has been left scarred from his mother’s sudden disappearance. Samuel often isolated himself, and he struggles to maintain successful relationships with others. But when he learns that his grandmother is severely ill, he steps up to the mark and becomes her primary visitor. Samuel’s character develops and grows throughout the novel, and I really enjoyed finding out more about him as the story progresses.
This book is a very easy read. The story is told from the first-person perspective of Samuel only, and the reader is given a deep insight to his thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is mostly narrated in the present day, with some references to the past included. Overall, the narrative is very easy to follow and the cast of characters is relatively small.
There is a sense of mystery and suspense running through the novel, as Samuel’s grandmother gets sicker and sicker, and he races against time to discover the truth about his mother’s disappearance. I do have to admit that I wasn’t 100% satisfied by the ending and expected a little bit more, but you may well enjoy the ending more than me!
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy family/domestic dramas, particularly if you enjoy reading books about secrets and lies. This novel is much more character-focused than plot-focused, so as long as you don’t expect lots of action and adventure then you will most likely enjoy this book. It was a different kind of read for me, but I did really enjoy it.
Happy reading 🙂