I was pleased to be asked by Niamh Anderson at Hodder to participate in the publicity for The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block. I’m delighted to share my review of this wonderful book today. The book is partly set in Edinburgh and that setting is important to the story. So I was asked to take a photo of the book somewhere in Edinburgh. Well, of course, it just had to be Portobello Beach didn’t it? Quite often visitors don’t realise that Edinburgh has a beach thinking of it, of course, as a beautiful and historic city, well known for its various festivals throughout the year.
I adored this book which was one of those that I just couldn’t put down. From the intriguing opening chapters through to the satisfying ending, I flew through its compelling pages. I loved the Seven Tales woven into the book, forming an important part of the story and helping Rebecca learn more about her enigmatic father. They reminded me of the children’s TV series from the 80s, Storybook International, with its travelling, singing storyteller sharing fairy tales from throughout the world. There is something about the commonality of folktales that creates a strong sense of nostalgia and brings people together with the truths they tell. And of course Rebecca’s own quest in that search for her father, with journalist Ellis as her trusty sidekick, is something we often see reflected in folktales.
I particularly enjoyed the parts of the book set in Edinburgh at a busy festival time (and had some sympathy for grumpy Cam who hates the festival!). Although Rebecca doesn’t visit Portobello where I took my copy of the book, she does see the view of the Forth estuary from the top of Arthur’s Seat.
I loved this beautifully written, captivating story which certainly worked its magic on me and I can’t wait to read more from Amanda Block.
From the back of the book
THE LOST STORYTELLER is the heart-warming and evocative debut novel from a stunning new voice in fiction, Amanda Block. Perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan, Jessie Burton and Diane Setterfield.
Rebecca hasn’t seen her father Leo since she was six. Her family never talk about him, and she has long since pushed him firmly to the back of her mind. All she knows is that, once upon a time, he was a well-loved children’s TV star.
But when a journalist turns up uninvited at her office, asking questions about her once-famous father, Rebecca starts to wonder whether there is more to Leo’s absence than she realised. Then, looking for answers, she unearths a book of fairy tales written by Leo and dedicated to her – but what use are children’s stories to her now, all these years later?
Tentatively, Rebecca tries to piece together her father’s life, from the people he used to know and her own hazy memories. Yet her mind keeps returning to the magical, melancholic fairy tales, which seem to contain more truth than make-believe. Perhaps they are the key to unlocking the mystery of her father, the lost storyteller; to revealing who he was, what he went through – and even where he might be now…
THE LOST STORYTELLER celebrates the power and resilience of imagination.
Buying link: The Lost Storyteller
About the Author
Originally from Devon, Amanda moved to Edinburgh in 2007, where she attained a master’s degree in creative writing. Since then, she’s divided her time between ghostwriting, editing and tutoring. Amanda’s writing is often inspired by myths and fairy tales, which she uses as starting points to tell new stories. Her work has been shortlisted in contests such as the Bridport Prize and the Mslexia Short Story Competition. The Lost Storyteller is her first novel.