April Skies: A heart wrenching Eastend story that will move you (John Sissons Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 176 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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There are a lot of themes here to enjoy. The hard life of the common man and the meaning of loyalty are the two most prominent. (The latter includes not just family and friends but also one's favorite sporting club!) At its core, "April Skies" is a very sentimental story, but its hard milieu and characters won't ever let it become mushy.
Thoreau famously observed that ‘the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation’ and Ian Ayris illustrates this so well with John and some of his friends. Life’s kicked them in the guts in their childhood and he often wishes he could go back to that happy time, before any of the problems of his life beset him. On the surface, he’s a no-hoper, but scratch that exterior and there’s a bit of a philosopher underneath. He – and possibly many of the people we would dismiss as an underclass – has a depth of character which Ayris teases out and celebrates. I really found this a very satisfying read, but if you’re allergic to strong language, you won’t enjoy it. Be prepared.
Thanks to the author and publisher for a review copy of this book.
Ex-con, John, is a young man struggling to emerge from a violent past that threatens to re-visit him and those he cares about. We see this world through his eyes, experience it through the beat of his heart, and the impact on all those connected is revealed with a sense of foreboding as the tension builds one notch at a time. Yet this story is about much more - Family, loyalty, hopes and dreams and the reality of a life that isn’t always bright and shiny. It’s about doing the best with what you have and never doing less.
I love the style of writing, punchy, sharp edges, no holds barred, real life warts and all – and yes, a fair dose of colourful language and violence. Nothing is wasted, everything is relevant and it works superbly. Most of all I loved the characters and the author’s breathtaking skill at bringing them to life. There are moments in this book, so poignant, the prose so poetic, it’s almost as if the author has turned his characters inside out so we may know them by the very stitches that weave their souls together. The result is both heart warming and heartbreaking in equal measure.
I cared about these people. I wanted to hug John Sissons, squeeze his hand, tell him everything would be okay, and applaud his loyalty and compassion for his pal Thommo, destined for a life in institutions, his mind destroyed by fear and glue. As John says when he sees the state of his friend ‘...none of that matters. Cos somewhere in there is my mate, sittin in a corner, doin the best he can.’
A wonderful book, that will have you thinking deeply long after you’ve turned the last page.
Ian Ayris’ April Skies is marvelous. Full of realistic, well-drawn characters, great dialogue, sharp twists and turns, and with a strong sense of place and time. Nerve-wracking and heartbreaking, tense and touching – April Skies is a Brit Grit classic.
Most recent customer reviews
Family life has moved on.Read more
April Skies carries on from Ayris's first book in the John Sissons series, Abide With Me.Read more