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Tree Surgery for Beginners by Parick Gale - Review

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I picked this book up after I'd been to see Patrick in Sheffield as I wanted to read more of his stuff. I've loved the books of his I've read before, but this one didn't wow me on the same level. It took me nearly a week to read it, which is so slow for me especially as it's not even three hundred pages long.

So, the book is about a man called Lawrence. Somewhat of a loner as a kid, he has grown up to be a tree surgeon. He is the only child of a widowed mother, Dora. They live in Gloucestershire, although Dora is American. She came over when he was small, and then her brother Darius followed and is a father figure for Lawrence.

Lawrence is married to Bonnie, the daughter of a client of his. She is kind of way out of his league, but the two of them seem to have an okay marriage. They have a little girl, Lucy, who is three or four.

Lawrence and Bonnie have a fight after Lawrence accuses her of having an affair with an architect friend of hers, Craig. Bonnie falls and bangs her head. She then takes off with Lucy and her faqther, who has never liked Lawrence, registers her as a missing person. A body is then found in nearby woods, and Lawrence comes under suspicion.

Okay, so the book seemed to be going one way, only then the body isn't Bonnie, and Lawrence is released. He then ends up accompanying Darius on a cruise on the SS Paulina. Darius is a bridge expert and is there to teach others how to play. On the cruise, the two f them get close to brother and sister Reuben and Bee. Lawrence begins to enjoy himself despite himself, but makes plans to leave the cruise in Miami to go to Chicago to see Lucy. He also starts an affair with the ship's singer, Lala.

Things go awry for, like, the next two hundred pages. There's all kinds of weird happenings and coincidences and nothing ends up like you think. The narrative swaps places a few times which I found strange. I'm giving this four out of five but really it's more of a three and a half. Odd. Odd book.


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