The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke- Kirsty Applebaum
Lonny is a lifeling. He has the power to heal any living creature and bring it back from the dead. But he pays a price for this gift – by lengthening the creature’s life, he shortens his own. So Lonny has to be careful, has to stay hidden in the forest. Because if people knew what he could do, Lonny would be left with no life at all…
A brilliant novel from the author of The Middler about family, secrets and a terrible power
Fans of The Middler will not be disappointed with this brilliant tale from Kirsty Applebaum as there are similar aspects...the outsider told not to go somewhere (who does), the rebellion against rules and expectations, family values, loyalty and finding yourself by making the right choices, no matter what the pressure and threats from others may be telling you...all that made The Middler a great story are here too, and it's just as good, if not, dare I say it, better.
Themes of choices, selflessness, kindness, generosity and love for friends and family are the main threads throughout the book, and it races along as we run towards the inevitable climax of the book, and the choice faced by Lonny about his gift and how to use it.
References to time are also sprinkled through the tale, a poignant reminder of what is at stake for Lonny and others...the juxtaposition of his dad trying to create time as a watchmaker, as the family also struggles to stop Lonny from having his time taken from him...
The characters in the book were vividly brought to life - embattled and torn Lonny, his protective dad and anxious younger brother, and ecccentric grandad and caring friends, all added to a mix of stories and feelings from different viewpoints that make you feel as if you are there in the story and at the festival alongside them all as the story reaches its dramatic main event.
No spoilers, but this is a touching, thoughtful and inspiring book about the good in people, and the message that the value of life is in what you do with yours...a lovely, lovely book (there were tears - a mix of sad but happy - so get the tissues ready, readers).
I'd also use with care due to the themes of death, grief etc that are in the book - nothing terrible, but may be a trigger for some with experience of the issues - think about the audience if sharing.
Thank you very much to Nosy Crow for the proof copy (and gifts!) to review.
Find out more and order the book here: nosycrow.com/product/the-life-and-time-of-lonny-quicke/
Nosy Crow: nosycrow.com and @NosyCrow and @NosyCrowBooks
Kisrsty Applebaum: @KirstyApplebaum and kirstyapplebaum.co.uk/
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) February 2021