337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby.
Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.
|Publisher||Hardcover||335||Hideaway Fall||Fiction||November 30th, 2020|
You know those (hopefully) rare moments when your stomach literally drops because one of life’s puzzle pieces is so gargantuan that it obliterates everything and everyone up to this current point? The enormity of one word, one truth, one action, one assumption being so impactful that it defines your whole life? A life that has not really been good, at all. Shattering!
337 is a book that echoes. It sends back waves of its essence long after you’ve finished the book with yet another and another and another thought: everything you learned within the story and its people shifts. Yet again. Because now you know this important little fact and ohmygod, all…these…wasted lives?!?!?!
And yet, the truth that our main character is chasing is not what this story is about. For me, it was about the years-long unraveling destruction left by the void where a mother should have been. It’s a story about those who never give up, about those who do give up and those who keep secrets… All at the cost of their own and others’ lives. Family members who have all, at the consequence of one act, turned dysfunctional towards one another.
M. Jonathan Lee writes with calm and patience. To some, it may be a slow process to follow, and I will disagree with those some. You see, I read grimdark fantasy and I read gory, slasher horror and none – NONE – of the books in those genres have made me feel quite like Lee has. It was this patience and methodical calmness of author’s pen that delivered those moments that made me ‘be in the moment’ so well. Never has hopelessness, despair and death, literal death, felt so real. And it made me slightly sick at the inescapable moments when a life counts down those final breaths. This book has brought me closest to death I have been this far in my life.
What a book. What a story. It’s magnificent in all the ways that life has to offer. True, some scenes may be disturbing to the readers – aforementioned death – but…
Families. There isn’t one in the world that doesn’t have anything to hide. We are none of us perfect. But some families deal with violence and abuse day after day after day. Even if they sit down for a picnic together in the park. One could think only happy families picnic…alas, sometimes one parent puts on a braver and a happier face than they would like to. And essentially, most importantly, it’s the footprint of adult actions that shapes the future of their offspring. We are still reluctant to admit that adult decisions have a way larger impact on kids than we would like to think. They’ll bounce back, sure.
But do they?
Hurt received will be hurt caused. An endless loop that will roll from generation to generation, like a family heirloom.
Finally, you’ve probably seen images and reviews of the book on your social media feeds as it has been literally flown across the globe. Check out Hideaway Fall of Facebook or Twitter and you’ll see what I mean 🙂 Anyway, 337 is unique in a way that it gives you an option which side you want to start reading from! So, 2 book covers, 1 book!
Please note, the double-ended upside-down opening for this book is available in books ordered in hard copy from UK booksellers only.