A READER'S OPINION
THE JACK NEWTON RADIO by Jon Lawrence is the story of Anwyn, a septuagenarian, who after her beloved husband dies, moves out of London back to her birthplace in Wales. There, she finds the old family home dilapidated and in need of repairs, much like her own life. Befriended by Maggie, a nurse at the local clinic, Anwyn comes to see that see needs others as much as she is needed by them.
A cozy little story set on the coast of Wales, THE JACK NEWTON RADIO has many elements of an enjoyable read: a quaint village, a rustic old house, a family with a myriad of problems that a gruff but lovable old lady helps them to resolve, the spirit of her deceased husband that is only a radio dial away, and even a dramatic rescue on the water.
While there are many British expressions used in the dialogues that may be unfamiliar to the North American reader, the story requires them in order to be authentic. The characters are all quite likeable, aside from the bullies at the school that pick on Maggie’s son Peter, who is quite introverted. Especially endearing is the character of Anwyn who may come across as abrasive, but she soon will crack a joke to lighten the situation, whether at the doctor’s office or in the supermarket.
If this story has any shortcomings, I would say that it was, well, too short. The ending came too soon, and I would have liked to have known more about how each character got on as the days went by. As it is the author appears to tie up all the various threads in one neat package.
One takeaway from the book that readers will like is the power of words (particularly poetry) to heal the human spirit. The poems of the unknown Jack Newton that Anwyn hears on her old radio come to her aid when she needs them most, something avid readers everywhere can relate to. We all have our favourite books that we turn to time after time for encouragement, for solace, for strength. Don’t overlook reading this short novel, for it contains a very entertaining and satisfying story.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars | Content Rating: 0 Hearts | Reviewed by: James M. Fisher
Spirited septuagenarian Anwyn Jones, has left London for the tranquility of St David’s following the death of her husband. Coming to terms with her grief, Anwyn begins to notice issues with her memory and fears that dementia will rob her of the only thing that matters to her – her husband. However, Anwyn forms an unlikely friendship with a broken family, including a lonely wife, a guilty husband and a distant young boy. As she tries to rebuild her life Anwyn becomes obsessed with the poems of Jack Newton, whose verses she hears on the radio each night. Within sight of the lighthouse friendships are made and secrets are revealed in a poignant, funny and thought-provoking novel from the acclaimed author of Playing Beneath the Havelock House, Albatross Bay and Bisha.
Genre: Literature/Fiction | Pub Date: March 10, 201 | Page count: 228pp
Format Read: E-Book | Source: Provided by the author or publisher