The Naseby Horses
By Dominic Brownlow
Rated: 4 stars ****
A beautifully, descriptive, philosophical fictional book to treat the senses and be amongst nature. Thanks to Louise Walters at Louise Walters Books, for sending me this rather beautiful printed/physical copy.
Please find the Blurb and Review below…
Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.
Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?
Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.
The cover is beautiful with its shimmery light of the moon on the water. The by-line of “Your swan is dead” is intriguing and attention grabbing. All does becomes clear as to what that it means as readers delve deeper into the nature of the Fens and also discover what The Naseby Horses are.
Simon has epileptic seizures and rather likes his Auntie Anne and Uncle Pete and sister Charlotte. He is also rather taken by a book called “Bewick’s Swan” all about migration patterns of the swan and more…
The book is very descriptive and does seem to use every adjective, which is a little unfortunate in some places. In saying that, it is beautifully written and has a real sense of place, that I think the author is keen for readers to enjoy and so, on that level, it works. The book also improves in its flow a few pages in, so it is definitely worth sticking with it.
As the story goes on, something happens to Simon’s sister, Charlotte. What Simon feels is born out of intense care and empathy, so much so that he doesn’t feel right doing anything enjoyable as eating, which is put very well and is quite a common feeling for those who can feel sympathy and empathy to large degrees. So, this is well-observed and considered.
The book goes between the life of the Bewick swans and the life of the human characters, as both types of families want to protect their young. There is something almost poetic about some of the symmetry that occurs within the book.
There is an explanation as to what The Naseby Horses were, which has a fascinating history, and yet much seem to be shrouded in secrecy. It is this that Simon is convinced has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. He is also convinced there is a connection between himself, Charlotte and their ancestors, which all adds intrigue to this rather mysterious book. It’s all very philosophical, which makes it absorbing.
Social Media Links
Author’s Twitter: @DominicBrownlow
Publisher’s Twitter: @LouiseWalters12