The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard, March 26, 2019. 128 pages. Published by Clink Street Publishing. Source: Received for blog tour.
Two worlds collide when a chance meeting brings together Jack and Isabella. Jack, the son of the Head Gardener of the Oakfield Estate, finds himself a friend in the lovely Isabella, the ‘little lady of Oakfield Hall’.Goodreads | Amazon
Set in Victorian times in the Southern Counties of England – with an intermittent welsh presence in the form of the Jones’ travelling gypsy family – much laughter, dance, music and cultural challenges lie before the two friends this summer!
How will the delicate Isabella fair among the unfamiliar countryside with its host of creatures and seasonal demands?
Will the rugged, uneducated Jack rise to the challenge of learning to read and write poetry about his beloved countryside – poaching, skinning rabbits and river fishing?
Every day is an adventure and it seems they are meant to be together, always. Or are they?
Read about their exciting adventures and discover the true meaning of friendship with them as they each discover new worlds and new challenges!
Good morning, y'all! Today, I'm here to talk about The Last Leaf by Gwyn Ellis Pritchard as part of the blog tour to celebrate its release.
- I don't know why, but The Last Leaf was different from what I was expecting. But, that's not entirely a bad thing...just a little jarring when you are expecting one thing from a book and come up with a different viewpoint from the one you previously thought you'd walk away with.
- I'll be completely honest here: At the beginning of the book, the writing was little jarring and choppy. Which made it difficult for me to read as it kept the story from having a fluid narrative. Though it did improve as the book when along, so, if you can make it through the first couple of chapters that story is well worth making it through the rough points of the author's writing.
- If you asked me what I liked best about this book, it would have to be the friendship between Jack and Isabella. I really enjoyed seeing how they lifted each other up and helped the other to understand a life different from their own. That and how they resolved their differences and problems with each other's behaviour; it was interesting...though there were times when I wished the conflict was lengethened as some things were settled too soon.
- At times, it felt the the writing was a little heavy on the narrative side while being too light on dialogue. I would have liked to have more conversations between Jack and Isabella than what was showcased in the book. I felt like the book would have been stronger if the reader could see more of their interactions in a more personal sense. Though, the author did a good job showing the inner-workings of the period and the uncommon friendship that blossomed between the two.
About the Author
My name is Gwyn. I am 60 years old, married with two grown up children. I have worked in the IT industry for almost 40 years. Both parents were Welsh speakers preferring to keep their secret language to themselves rather than pass on this heritage to their children.
My Father was an Auditor attached to the British Forces on the Rhine, and we were constantly being moved around from town to town. My early schooling was therefore haphazard, and I struggled to achieve academically in the British Forces education system. So I was sent to Boarding school in Norfolk from the age of ten to sixteen years old. The standard of teaching there was poor and had a very high turnover of teachers as well as pupils. But it was there that I developed my passion for rugby, and at the age of 15, along with a couple of chums, I was invited to play for Diss Rugby Club. I later played for Delyn Rugby club in North Wales for a number of years but sustained too many injuries to take the sport any further.
I have always been interested in storytelling to younger children, being nicknamed “Gwynanory” by one family group who benefitted from me making up stories to fit situations such as; finding a lost teddy, being bullied at school, going to the dentist, or being over excited for Christmas.
I must confess that I am not an avid reader. I do like certain biographies, and I also enjoy crime thrillers. But I mostly enjoy reading about the history of my spiritual homeland in the mid Wales region. I am an impatient reader though. If I do not get the point of the book early enough, or if the style of writing annoys me, then I might just abandon the book and move on to the next one.
The Last Leaf is my first book and I loved writing it. I get quite emotional when I read it back, and then when I do, I wonder if I could have explained a situation better, or added another chapter or two or three. I’m looking forward to carrying on writing and have so many more stories to share.