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The Lion Tamer Who Lost Reader Reviews

The Lion Tamer Who Lost

Karen Kingston

This novel explores relationships between friends and between families, and the dangers of keeping secrets. ‘The lion tamer who lost’ is well written and deserves to be in the Top 10 fiction chart for many weeks.

Thank you to Louise Beech for transporting me between England and Zimbabwe. All the characters, human and lion, were brought to life beautifully and I found myself caring deeply about their journeys.
This novel explores relationships between friends and between families, and the dangers of keeping secrets. The issues raised are dealt with sensitively and I believe that this would be a great novel for schools to share with teenagers age 14+ to cover PSHE topics.
The Lion Tamer who Lost is well written and deserves to be in the Top 10 fiction chart for many weeks.

@KarenKingston8

Janet Lambert

Be careful what you wish for it might just come true, is definitely the moral of this lovely, engaging romantic and heartbreaking read.

Be careful what you wish for it might just come true, is definitely the moral of this lovely, engaging romantic and heartbreaking read.

Ben has always wished he could work with lions, whilst Andrews wishes are more complex, so he keeps his written on post-it notes and concealed inside his Wish Box.

When these two meet it feels like fate could have thrown them together and this book is certainly a series of bizarre and pretty improbable coincidences.

When you read a book that breaks a piece of your heart and you turn to the back and discover your own name in the mentions and thankyous … perhaps that’s just another of those bizarre coincidences, for not only did that happen to me in my proof copy of this book, which eventually found its way to me via a long and circuitous route (and I was so thrilled to be mentioned I yipped out loud on the bus) but a similar thing also happens in the book to one of the characters.

The book alternates in point of view between the two main characters Ben and Andrew. Andrew is an author and every chapter of this book begins with a quote from the book he is writing, a childrens book called … “The Lion Tamer who lost” whilst Ben is tells his story from Africa where he is living out his wish by working on a Lion conservation project.

As other readers have already said, it’s quite difficult to describe the story without giving too much away. So I’ll tell you how it made me feel - I galloped through it, as it is a real page turner and the series of coincidences left me reeling, first with delight then with sorrow and there is a real punch in the gut OMG moment that I hadn’t anticipated which almost physically had me reeling.

The clever author, whose previous book Maria in the Moon, which I also loved, covered some pretty difficult subjects, takes a handful of taboo and thought provoking topics and blends these ingredients together into a perfect, beautifully iced cake, which you bite into only to find a shockingly bitter and terrible core. Family dynamics are the main underlying base to this gateau, filled with love and passion, sprinkled with wishes and hopes, and sandwiched together with loneliness, impossibility, sickness and pain.

You do need to be able to willingly accept very unlikely coincidences and also believe in fate to go with the flow and enjoy this book as it was intended to be enjoyed. But hey, isn’t life often stranger than fiction and bizarre and unpredictable things can happen.

You also need to be able to read this somewhere a little private as it’s certainly going to make you ugly cry at some point. There is a certain point where the realisation that in one aspect at least this book is never, ever going to have one of the happy outcomes it’s made you long for, that completely knocked me sideways. But, many of the characters, the ones you grow to love and even the ones you dislike and get very exasperated with will surprise you and by the end, you will feel a part of the disparate family at the core of the story.

https://beadyjansbooks.blogspot.com/2018/08/review-lion-tamer-who-lost-louise-beech.html, @Beadyja

Barbara Gaskell

Beautifully and sensitively written. I laughed, I cried, I was indignant, and I was overwhelmed. The Lion Tamer who Lost does not disappoint.

A chance meeting …… changed destinies ….. challenging issues.

Beautifully and sensitively written. The words soak deep into your consciousness and transport you far away.

I will not say too much about the plot – two men who keep meeting; two very different locations; future and past; father and son.

As for the emotional experience of reading the book. I laughed, I cried, I was indignant, and I was overwhelmed.

I loved Louise Beech’s excellent The Mountain in My Shoe, which left me speechless at the end. In the same way The Lion Tamer who Lost does not disappoint.

Dana Captainino

This book made me weep, it made me sad and it made me want to tell everyone to read it.

This novel is painfully moving and I was completely drawn into its gripping pure human emotion from the very beginning. Starting in Zimbabwe, the central character Ben has fled there from England to escape his secrets.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost is about dreams and memories. It is about relationships and loss. Ben has always dreamt of working with lions and at last in Africa he helps to nurture the young lioness Lucy as she prepares for life in the wild. Ben meets and falls in love with children’s author, Andrew who keeps a silver box to store his wishes in. Most of these come true, but the implications of fulfilling his oldest wish are both heart breaking and devastating.

This is a poignant and tragic love story where rich and achingly real characters weave their way in and out of each other’s lives. This book made me weep, it made me sad and it made me want to tell everyone to read it. Louise Beech is one of those authors that I feel honoured to have read.

Sarah Harper

Beautifully written, wonderfully uplifting and yet woefully devastating at the same time, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is very special indeed.

In my experience a book has to be pretty special in order to move me to tears. The storyline, characters, setting, everything in fact needs to come together at the right time and at the right pace in order to make me react to the written word so emotionally. With a book there is no soft focus montage of sentimental memories or emotive music commonly used in movies to play with our emotions. With a book the writing has to be pretty darn good in order to achieve this effect and with The Lion Tamer Who Lost Louise Beech has absolutely nailed it. Moving, emotive, heart wrenching and just beautifully, beautifully written. It made me smile, it lifted my heart and it left me utterly bereft. I thought about Andrew and Ben long after I came to the end and I missed them from that moment onwards. Theirs was a deep and powerful relationship, a once in a lifetime true love. But life is complicated. Growing up with an aggressive, alcoholic, homophobic, womanising father when you are gay is an uncomfortable experience, especially when your mother’s dying wish was for you to make that man happy. How do you tell him that you are in fact one of the individuals he so despises? In response to this pressure and other cruel twists of fate, Ben turns to the lions in Africa. He focuses on them in order to blot out his memories of home. But like hidden bruises we carry our memories with us wherever we go. Colours, smells, even sounds can trigger them and as they flood back, unbidden and painful, they will rip you apart from the inside. Ben and Andrew broke my heart but I would re-live their story in the blink of an eye. Wonderfully uplifting yet woefully devastating at the same time, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is very special indeed.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781912374298
Publication date: 30th September 2018
Author: Louise Beech
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 334 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Relationship Stories, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Adult & contemporary romance,