The Lion Tamer Who Lost is the newest book by one of my favorite authors, Louise Beech. Ever since I read How To Be Brave, I became a fan of Louise’s writing and I’ve loved all of her novels (The Mountain In My Shoe, Maria In The Moon). However, I think this one might be my favorite yet!
I love Louise’s books because although her novels aren’t my usual go-to genre (contemporary, literary fiction), I can’t help but become completely captivated by the way she tells her stories and the beauty of her characters. Her books are always beautiful, poignant, and magical. I would recommend them to anyone.
This time, the protagonist is Ben, a young man who’s in Zimbabwe trying to forget about his relationship with Andrew. We know something went wrong and we know Ben is suffering, but we don’t understand why. And then, slowly, we begin to learn about Ben and Andrew’s relationship by revealing their past from both points of view. I believe this structure worked really well because there were some details that you didn’t fully understand until you read them later.
I found Ben’s story heartbreaking and I became so invested in his relationship with Andrew that I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what would happen to them. I also enjoyed the family dynamics, especially when we finally discover more about Ben’s father and why he behaved the way he did. I’m not saying I liked him, because I didn’t, but he had some redeeming qualities, as well.
Finally, let’s not forget the lions!. The Zimbabwe setting and the lion sanctuary scenes were incredible: I will never forget Ben’s interactions with Lucy. At first, I wasn’t sure of how well the two settings would work, but I soon realized I loved reading about both present and past, which doesn’t happen often. That’s the power of a great book, I guess.
A truly unforgettable story.
Many thanks to the publishers for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review