Review: ‘Broken Branches’, by M. Jonathan Lee

Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

Published by: Hideaway Fall

Publication Date: 27th July 2017

ISBN: 978-0995492332

Price: £8.99

Format: Paperback

 

Available here

 

My Review

When I first started reading this book I thought it was about a man confronting his childhood after the tragedy of his brother’s suicide. As I read on I realised it is another tragedy that was tormenting Ian and Rachel Parkins.

It was hard to tell, was he delusional or haunted? What’s the difference? Is this a ghost story? I’d say it was, there’s a house that is a character by itself, unusual happenings, spirits – although whether ghosts or a figment of imagination is hard to tell at times. The sycamore is a character too, a malevolent resident that hangs over the characters and all through the story right from the beginning.

The book moves back and forwards through time, exploring Ian’s past and family, as he desperately tried to uncover his family history and the purported family curse caused by an ancestor who hung a dog from the sycamore tree that dominates the front of the house and caused his daughter’s death.

The book is creepy. I enjoyed it. The writing is engaging and easy to read. The book sweeps you along, pulling you into the story until all 300 pages fly past and the devastating ending. The characters are sympathetic and well-rounded; I especially enjoyed the chapters written from the point of view of young Ian, as he struggles to understand his family and what’s going on around him.

The descriptions of grief and depression were so accurate to my experience, it was quite distressing at times. Either M. Jonathan Lee has had depression or he’s listened to people who have lived with the black dog (the LISTENING part is important).

If you like a creepy, slightly unconventional ghost story, I recommend this book.

4/5

 

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