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The Lion Tamer Who Lost

Published Date: 7th March 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374304
£5.99
15 July 2018
Paperback
9781912374298
£8.99
30 September 2018
Audiobook
Coming Soon

Description

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?
A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…

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‘Vivid, passionate and exquisitely told, this love story will live on in my heart for a very long time to come. A poignant, surprising and all-consuming read’ Katie Marsh

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‘I cannot remember when I was last so touched by a story. Tin Man meets Brokeback Mountain – it really is that good. This isn’t a book you just read, it’s something you absorb. An incredible, poignant piece of work. Louise Beech had cemented her place as one of Britain’s finest modern storytellers’

John Marrs

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‘A beautiful, honest and tender love story that I won’t forget for a long time. With wishes, promises, betrayals, heartbreak and joy – Ben and Andrew’s story spans time and distance. Their love had me trapped in its spell, their tragic moments had me sobbing like a baby. The scenes in Zimbabwe had me right there, inhaling the heady scents and listening to the lions roar. This is Louise Beech at her very best. A triumph’ Fionnuala Kearney

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‘Beech sets up the love story quietly and convincingly. And then – bang – something astonishing and completely unexpected happens to Ben and Andrew. This is where the narrative really gathers pace. I had read patiently until that point then I raced my way to the end. The book digs deep emotionally, but is funny and feel-good too’ Fiona Mitchell

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‘Storytelling at its finest. Louise Beech is a beguiling wordsmith. Prepare to be hooked’ Amanda Prowse

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‘The whole novel is skilfully woven together, with complex, utterly convincing characters and an impossible moral dilemma at the core. It’s a compelling read through to the emotional final pages. I love the poetry, the wisdom, and the insights into life at a lion sanctuary, so vivid that the reader can hear and smell as well as visualise them. It’s a stunning and very brave book’ Gill Paul

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‘Louise Beech does it again. The setting alone makes this book worth a read, the lightly handled metaphor of a place where damaged beings go to recover provides a sumptuous backdrop that does its work on the reader’s subconscious while they enjoy the action of the story. Love, complicated families and the hurtful things people say and do to one another out of fear, love and ignorance feature here, as well as messy relationships and the mistakes flawed human beings make while trying so hard not to. A moving read’ S.E. Lynes

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‘Heartfelt and wry, this will transport you into a keenly observed world; secrets are hidden, people are flawed, but humanity endures’ Ruth Dugdall

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‘Louise Beech is a natural-born storyteller with an elegance about her writing that never fails to move me’ Michael J. Malone

 

‘This is real life, bruised, torn and coffee-stained, refusing to give up … simply stunning’ Su Bristow

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‘There are times when you finish reading a book and know that part of it will stay with you always. This will be one of those books’ Claire Allen

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‘It put me in mind of John Irving. It’s that feeling of being in the hands of a master storyteller and just trusting him or her so completely’ Laura Pearson

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‘Nothing about this story disappoints. The African setting, the excellent writing, and above all, the immaculate storytelling. It’s a cleverly constructed book too. I loved the chapter headings which give us a glimpse of the story within the story. Another triumph. A beautifully crafted book’ Carole Lovekin

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‘Again, Louise Beech has totally blown me away with her storytelling ability. I loved this beautiful but painful love story; which is also about coincidences, loss and difficult relationships. This is a story about the strength of love and what sometimes needs to be sacrificed for it’ Madeleine Black

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‘Adored this beautiful and inspiring book’ Kate Furnivall

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‘Already one of my favourites of 2018’ Liz Robinson, LoveReadingUK

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‘A stirring novel, beautifully written, reminiscent of the early work of Maggie O’Farrell’ Irish Times

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‘Quirky, darkly comic, heartfelt and original’ Sunday Mirror

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‘This achingly sad story has wonderful characters, including the spiky, sweary Catherine’ Sunday People

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‘A beautiful and compassionate read’ Prima

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‘Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will love it’ Red

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‘The Lion Tamer Who Lost by the talented Louise Beech is a heart breaking yet ultimately uplifting tale about a gay love affair, set between a lion sanctuary in Zimbabwe and London’ The Lion Tamer Who Lost is recommended in the Good Housekeeping

Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Reader’s Choice in 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for the Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise is currently writing her next book. She lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.
Follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseWriter and visit her website: louisebeech.co.uk.

Online Reviews

‘There are books I love and books I will treasure forever and The Lion Tamer Who Lost by the superbly talented Louise Beech falls into the latter. As far as I’m concerned Louise Beech is the “queen” of story telling, this novel was such a compelling and emotive read, and so beautifully written I’m not convinced anything I write will convey how truly wonderful this book was … This is a modern day tale that tackles subjects that many may consider to be taboo, but the author has an incredible way of writing, one that includes sensitivity and beautiful poetic prose that even the most narrow minded readers will find it difficult not to fall in love with this book and it’s characters. The Lion Tamer Who Lost made for an intense, all consuming read, and one I simply adored’ The Book Review Café

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‘I’m gutted. Darn you Louise!  As with all of her books, LB has a way of sucking you into the story from the first page & wraps you into the characters so much you feel their every emotion. I lost count of how many quotes I wrote down to try and remember. I lost count of how many times I put the book down and sat in stunned silence & a few times in tears. Raw, emotional yet somehow hopeful this book is incredibly beautiful’ Laura Rash

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‘It was about the strength of love and the selfless sacrifices that people make at a time of crisis, and also having the maturity and courage to deal with life’s setbacks if things don’t go as planned.. I knew this book would be a tearjerker as soon as I immersed myself in Louise Beech’s story, with her poetic words leaping off the page like little sparks of light. I had tissues, chocolate and counselling service on standby by the time I reached the end. Each one of her books is unique – nothing like her previous ones, but just as compelling and compassionate. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!’ Off the Shelf Books

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‘The characters are so well drawn, the relationship so sensitively observed, I was reminded of Patrick Gale’s A Place Called Winter. (I adore Gale because his male, gay characters are always relatable.) And that’s the trick, Beech has pulled off … I turned the cover and fell headlong into a wonderful surprise. Because nothing about this story disappoints. The African setting, the excellent writing, and above all, the immaculate storytelling. It’s a cleverly constructed book too. I loved the chapter headings which give us a glimpse of the story within the story. Another triumph. A beautifully crafted book which will do a great deal to further an understanding of gay relationships. From a writer coming into her power’ Carole Lovekin Author

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‘A novel about a gay love affair and a lion sanctuary – you wouldn’t think these two things would work together in a novel but they do. And the meaning of the title in particular when you realise what it really means is a nice touch and brings everything together. It was fascinating to read the scenes set in a lion sanctuary especially when I discovered the author had never been to one. You’d never think it at all! Shows you the power of good research and the emotions you can evoke on the page with good writing. A VERY emotional read. Louise Beech what are you doing to me! Your writing is lovely and evocative and you made me care for what happened to Andrew and Ben. Did not see the ending at all!’ The Book Trail

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‘This beautifully crafted story takes us from the past in East Yorkshire to the stunning plains of Zimbabwe and a sanctuary which helps to rescue lions and release them back into the wild. Against the wild beauty of this country Ben’s story unfolds and as it does so we learn so much about him, his family and where his heart lies. For all that the sumptuous background will have you smelling and breathing in the redolent scent of the African days and nights it is in the kitchen of an East Yorkshire home that we will understand the true nature of love and sacrifice. Moving, honest, and heart-breakingly tender, The Lion Tamer Who Lost had me in tears more than once. Verdict: A beautiful, poignant, stand out book of 2018. I urge you to read it. Live and Deadly

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When reading this novel I felt like everything else that was happening in the world vanished. It was impossible to be distracted whilst reading. This is rare for me, I’m best reading with nothing happening in the background but with this book it didn’t matter. It took over everything. There is so much to love. Bob Fracklehurst ( a character who regular readers will know), the humour that is present in a relationship with a soul mate, the wrong words, the excerpts from Andrew’s book at the top of each chapter. I could go on and on. I’m not ashamed to say I cried. More than once. I cried at the relationship between Ben and Andrew a few times and I also cried over Will. The man who knew he had made mistakes, and regretted them. An absolutely brilliant novel, told as always from the heart’ Stephs Book Blog

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‘There’s a simultaneous complexity and simplicity about him that makes him a compelling character and presence. I’ve always said that How To Be Brave was secretly my favourite of Louise Beech’s books – but I’m really not so sure any more. This book was total perfection, beautiful, breath-taking, heartbreaking, and one of the very best books I’ve read this – or any other – year’ Being Anne

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Louise writes a guest post about how writing The Lion Tamer Who Lost opened her eyes a little wider. Women Writers, Women’s Books 

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THE LION TAMER WHO LOST is every bit as compelling as its predecessors. There’s much exquisite writing and a great sense of place, transporting the reader to the vast open plains of Africa, or to East Yorkshire with the same ease and dexterity. I loved the structure and the dual points of view of Ben and Andrew: each fills in gaps for the reader that the other’s accounts leave out. But I think that my favourite thing of all is how well Louise depicts her characters’ emotional lives: the central love story between Ben and Andrew is achingly poignant and rings absolutely true. THE LION TAMER WHO LOST is a captivating exploration of love, guilt, loss, prejudice and redemption. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next!’ Louisa Treger

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‘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 … A truly unforgettable story’ The Misstery

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I love that this book is LGBTQ+ because I feel like it would’ve been boring if it wasn’t. I found The Lion Tamer Who Lost to be an interesting read filled with heart and great writing … Out of both main characters in this book I found Andrew to be most likable and so sweet. I loved Andrew and enjoyed reading his parts the most. Aside from my issues with it I believe that many people will enjoy picking this book up and I salute Louise for writing an LGBTQ+ book because we need more of them in the world. The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a love story between Ben and Andrew that begins as a series of meet-cutes which eventually forms into a love story that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the very end’ Breathing Through the Pages

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‘Louise Beech is the masterfully talented writer of The Lion Tamer Who Lost. She captures the heart of readers by diving deep into the characters of Andrew and Ben beautifully. I’ll be honest I didn’t take many notes because this was so darn good that I didn’t want to stop to even jot down any and I don’t believe that has ever happened to date. In fact, I read this in one sitting without a stir. I was captivated and entranced being brought into this story as if I was a part of it all … Such an emotionally heartfelt read that is truly unique in anything I’ve ever read…Loved it!’ Donna Hines, Goodreads

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‘The combination of the themes and the way Beech has delicately woven the intricate threads of the story together make The Lion Tamer Who Lost a very special novel. I have loved Beech’s previous books (although I still have to read How To Be Brave) but The Lion Tamer Who Lost may be my favourite yet. Incredibly moving, at times desperately heartbreaking and always tender, The Lion Tamer Who Lost reminds us that if fate exists, it is fickle and may not always be leading you to the outcome you expect. A truly outstanding and beautiful book’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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‘The clever author, whose previous book Maria in the moon, which I also loved, covered some pretty difficult subjects, takes a handful of taboo and thought provoking topics and blends these ingredients together into a perfect, beautifully iced cake, which you bite into only to find a shockingly bitter and terrible core. Family dynamics are the main underlying base to this gateau, filled with love and passion, sprinkled with wishes and hopes, and sandwiched together with loneliness, impossibility, sickness and pain … But, many of the characters, the ones you grow to love and even the ones you dislike and get very exasperated with will surprise you and by the end, you will feel a part of the disparate family at the core of the story’ Beady Jan’s Book

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‘This beautifully crafted story takes us from the past in East Yorkshire to the stunning plains of Zimbabwe and a sanctuary which helps to rescue lions and release them back into the wild … For all that the sumptuous background will have you smelling and breathing in the redolent scent of the African days and nights it is in the kitchen of an East Yorkshire home that we will understand the true nature of love and sacrifice. Moving, honest, and heart-breakingly tender, The Lion Tamer Who Lost had me in tears more than once. A beautiful, poignant, stand out book of 2018. I urge you to read it’ Live and Deadly

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‘Beech writes with an eloquence that defies easy classification. Her narrative develops with initial stealth, throwing up so many questions that its direction is often a puzzle. At times the mood is dream-like and poetic, at others hard-hitting and unsparing … The consequences are devastating and tragic, only partially tempered by moments of bittersweet reconciliation and seeds of future hope. Ultimately, you come to care deeply about Ben and Andrew’s story and I have to admit, more than once, that I may have had something in my eye’ Claire Thinking

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‘I don’t think I can do a review that will do this book justice and show just how good it is so I am going to keep it short and sweet – it is brilliant – buy it!! In all seriousness I loved everything about this book, the writing style is superb, the plot is excellent and I loved the characters. The setting is brought to life as the words flow and you feel completely immersed in the story … One of my highlights of 2018 – superbly written and another cracking book from Louise Beech!!’ Donna’s Book Blog

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‘I love this woman’s books so much-Louise Beech is a literary genius!!!And she even manages to get better with every single book that she brings out! But although I found myself completely caught up in the haunting atmosphere and the powerful emotions it stirred within me, I didn’t actually cry until it finished … It’s a beautifully written piece of fiction about love, loss, humanity and forgiveness. Don’t read without tissues!!!’ My Chestnut Tree Reading 

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‘The plot twists and turns as it moves between the past and present, and between the two settings: hot, dusty Africa, with its beautiful sunrises and wild lions and grey, dull England with its cuppas in the kitchen and stale fag smoke. Beautifully written and exceedingly emotionally engaging, I found myself unable to put the story down, as I needed to know what had happened and would happen next to poor, troubled Ben … The Lion Tamer Who Lost is my first Louise Beech novel and I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book and would read anything else Louise Beech writes too!’ Bookshine and Readbows

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Louise takes part in an interview, talking about the characters in The Lion Tamer Who Lost as part of the blog tour. Emma the Little Bookworm

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‘The book is engaging from the start, very much a love story, also a growing-up story for Ben, the lion sanctuary he’s gone off to being also a kind of temporary sanctuary for him … Beech has done it again – created an enthralling and believable cast of characters to accompany us on a journey with at its heart a solid vein of emotional truth. An excellent and wise book’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘There are flawed characters, there are difficult circumstances and both men learn a lot about themselves and each other in the process but it all felt so incredibly authentic, just like issues any one of us may experience with our families and have to deal with. I can’t express in enough words to try and convince you how wonderful and heart-breaking this novel is but I’m hoping my star rating speaks volumes. I became completely enamoured with the writing, the plot and the characters and was left bereft by the ending. Louise Beech deserves all the praise in the world for creating such a magnificent story that will remain etched on my memory for a long time to come’ Bibliobeth

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‘What makes this book so out of the ordinary? It’s written with an emotional honesty that caught me unawares and unable to sleep when I finished it. The writer is not playing with your emotions, she is simply telling s story with searing honesty, which is heartbreaking on times, but also beautiful and bittersweet. Louise Beech writes with a deft hand about the complicated feelings that define human love, sexuality and friendship … The story is made all the richer, in being character driven and because it is written with an understanding that it is often our differences that make us who we are and fascinating to read about. I would recommend this book simply because it is a beautiful tale about love. Much like novels such as Tin Man, its power lies in the deceptively simple story. Neither book is simple, they are just written with effortless skill and an understanding of human nature’

Books are my Cwtches

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The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a story about friendship and family, it’s about feeling lost and alone, bewildered and frightened, and it’s also a rather beautiful love story between Ben and Andrew and of their close relationship which society still doesn’t fully understand. The story is beautifully written, by an author who, with perfect precision, has the ability to take you from the absolute solitude of a wild African dawn, with its lingering scent of heat and dust, to the pungent aroma of stale booze and cigarettes in a tiny northern kitchen … Books come and books go, and some may even linger in the memory a little while longer before they fade. The difference between those stories and this one is that the beautiful complexity of The Lion Tamer Who Lost will stay with you forever’ Jaffa Reads Too

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‘If there’s one author you need to read it’s Louise Beech, this wily wordsmith has a unique gift when it comes to crafting a beautifully evocative tale that will capture the heart of readers … this is an incredibly moving and poignant read that flows beautifully.  The characters are so vivid and real, you can feel their anguish, their frustration, their happiness and become so invested in them, they become part of you … If you want characters that you can take into your heart, a plot that carry you off to the wilds of Zimbabwe and back again, and writing that will take you on an emotional journey then this is the book for you.  I cannot recommend this highly enough!’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘There were many elements and atmospheres to this book, all blended together so seamlessly and I felt and lived every one of them in this beautifully drawn masterpiece of a novel. I laughed, cried, grieved and then grieved some more because I’d finished reading the book even though I’d made it last as long as I could. I haven’t done this since I was a child reading my favourite book. When I’d finished the book, I stroked the cover, hugged it and put it back on the bookshelf to be read again’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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‘What an evocative and poignant piece of writing. It really is a thing of beauty. The darkness at the centre creeps up on you and gives you one of those ‘of course’ moments … This is one of those books which you feel that nothing you can write will really do it justice. It captures you from the start and keeps you in its grip right up to the last sentence- and what a sentence that is. Read it and find out.  In short: Prepare to have your emotions shredded!’

 Books Life and Everything

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‘This book has left me without words; delicious and moving, a must read book … This beautiful love story is told like a tale, it touched me, delighted me and left me without words in the end, because this story can not had a better ending than the one the author had given, not happy, not sad, real. This is what makes this story so powerful and beautiful, because is not simply a story, from now on will be a part of my life. I would like to share more things about the story with you, but then it will be filled with spoilers, and let me tell you, read this book without knowing anything about it, simply enjoy the read, devour the words and let yourself learn about The Lion Tamer Who Lost, is an amazing book’ Varietats

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‘This is an exquisitely real, sensitive and beautiful book that I feel immensely privileged to have read. I believe Louise’s next book, Star Girl is a psychological thriller, so with fears instead of tears I may be able to forego the tissues. Nevertheless I know that such is the talent of this very special author, I’ll still experience every mood and emotion. I can’t wait to read it but it the meantime I cannot recommend The Lion Tamer Who Lost strongly enough’ Hair Past a Freckle

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‘I have been moved beyond measure and even had a little cry at the beauty that this writer has created. I didn’t think that she would be able to top The Mountain in My Shoe but she has and I can only dream of what comes next from the pen of this one off, one of a kind super talented author that captures heart and mind and is quite simply a piece of wizardry. You would be foolish to miss this one’ Reflections of a Reader

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‘The sheer emotion, and poignancy that poured from the pages was mesmerising and I felt myself wholly immersed in these two characters, drawn into their trauma, their feelings, their despair. I can honestly say it is very rare for a novel to affect me so much and I can only attest that to the sheer quality of Beech’s writing … If you are reading this novel and expecting hearts, flowers, and fluffy African lions then this is not the book for you. This is a novel that will, quite literally take your breath away with its intensity, its emotion and ability to burrow deep within your heart’ My Bookish Blogspot

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‘This is a real current and relevant read in today’s world and Beech tackles subjects that still many people deem to be taboo – she handles the LGBTQ with great care and sensitivity. The characters lives you become invested in and deeply come to care for. The Lion Tamer Who Lost is powerful, raw and emotive storytelling, written in such a beautiful way that I can’t imagine it not cracking the most toughest of hearts’ Gems Quiet Corner

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‘It left me numb, stunned. Mrs Beech can slip in a plot twist which isn’t a plot twist but is. She writes it in such a way it feels natural but my heart felt tight as I read. I for one knows life can be cruel and Mrs Beech has impeccably placed one of life’s evil twists into her story. By the end of the book I was a mess of emotions! I want to cry but smile at the brilliance of the writing. Another beautifully written book from Mrs Beech. I don’t know how she does it!’ A Knights Read

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‘If you love books that are beautifully written, that feel so real and that work their way into your heart in such a way that you know that it will never quite be the same again then stop reading this and buy The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. You really won’t regret it’ If Only I Could Read Faster

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‘This was a wonderfully moving story … Louise Beech deftly explores themes of love and family, creating a multi-layered plot full of nuance. There are honestly so many levels to this book … I don’t think I could do it justice with a summary anyway, it’s just so clever and compelling. I definitely did not expect the direction things took and this really added to the emotional impact the story had on me. I’m really pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this one and definitely recommend it to readers who like their books full of heart’ The Paperback Piano

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‘It moved into such an emotionally charged story as the author had me on the edge of tears. I tried my hardest to keep them in check for such a long time and just as I started to breathe normally again I came across three words that had me in a total sobbing mess … This is a beautiful, emotional, passionate, wonderful story that had me absolutely glued from the first page to the very last’ Me and My Books

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‘The Lion Tamer Who Lost is an exquisite love story which starts after a succession of coincidences…some would call it fate … All the sights, smells and sounds leap from the page … The Lion Tamer Who Lost is an intense read which I found gripping from start to end, I kept turning the pages as I needed to know what happened between Ben and Andrew as I felt as though I was on the journey with them. I’m not ashamed to admit that there were tears! Another beautiful story and setting from Louise Beech whose books continue to get better and better… this is my favourite on yet, until the next one! Everyone needs to read this book – it is beautiful from the first page right to the very last page!’ Have Books Will Read

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‘Slowly the story unravels and the reader becomes aware of what happened and  I defy anyone not to be deeply moved. This is Louise’s fourth book and I can’t wait to read more from her. If you like beautiful, emotional stories you’ll love this book’ Over the Rainbow Book Blog

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‘The story is told from both Ben and Andrew’s point of view. We learn of Ben’s tolerance of his dad – his drinking and womanising and Andrew wishing he’d known his dad and also of Andrew’s wish box with his hopes and dreams inside. Ben met Andrew in the library at Uni and was completely and utterly drawn to him. He felt like he was “coming home”. Chance meetings made him think they were meant to be regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s a bittersweet tale of love, passion, life, friendship and heartache and I absolutely adored it’ Beauty Balm

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‘The Lion Tamer Who lost affected me deeply in the same way that O’Farrell’s After You’d Gone did. You know you have a special book in your hands when it makes you feel all of the feelings and it never, ever lets go of you even long after you’d finished reading. I will never forget these characters or this story and I know I will revisit this book in the future. It’s such a stunningly beautiful, heart-rending read; one that will take a piece of your heart. The Lion Tamer Who Lost is now one of my most favourite books and I will be shouting from the rooftops for everyone to read it!’ Rather Too Fond of Books

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‘Louise Beech’s words flowed so effortlessly within this story and I was hooked from the start.  Ben had wanted to visit the lions in Africa for a long time and made a promise to fulfil his dreams but this journey was a chance to escape something his heart hadn’t expected to happen … The author takes you on a journey that is captivating, beautiful, unexpected and so very tragic.  The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a book that will evoke many emotions within you and it will keep stirring those feelings for a long time. Effortlessly beautiful’ Krafti Reader

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‘Louise Beech strikes the right balance in the sensitive way she writes these scenes with Ben’s father being wholly recognisable as a man of a narrow-minded of a certain age yet he is never cartoonish or grotesque. It is the casual homophobic remarks that cut the deepest for Ben who just wants to be fully himself with his family. I wasn’t quite sure where this book was going to go when I first started reading it and it took me on a different ride to the one I was expecting. It is a gorgeous book which is just pure quality storytelling. It is fully immersive with rich and detailed writing and is an utterly compelling love story’ Beverley Has Read

 

Louise writes a guest post about dedicating The Lion Tamer Who Lost as part of the blog tour. Being Anne

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‘I purposely haven’t written about the various threads in this tale, because I think every reader should discover and follow them for themselves. What resonates so strongly for me may merely be a passing thought for someone else. It’s a touching story of resilience, shame and confusion, and yet ultimately also one which highlights the complex structure of relationships and love. It’s a beautiful read’ Cheryll MM’s Book Blog

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‘The twists and turns, of which there are a couple, are powerfully devastating and tissues at the ready are needed. From memory, I think this is the first book I have read where two gay men are the central characters which I find really surprising. I’ve read quite a few with lesbian protagonists (Sarah Waters books being excellent examples) but how have I not even stumbled upon one with a gay central character before? Beech tackles Ben and Andrew and their relationship perfectly and you would never guess it was written by a heterosexual woman’ Cramlington Book Club

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‘Louise Beech is a writer whose books I would pick up without knowing a single thing about them. She takes me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. This book is plotted so well, to bring the past and present stories together in a non-linear way and to have the greatest effect on the reader. The combination of that, a gorgeous storyline, a tender love story and wonderful characters certainly had an effect on this reader. I can’t recommend it highly enough’

 Short Book & Scribes

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‘There is so much heart in this book, so much raw emotion, its a real ‘lump in throat’ read … The sections of the book are split between Ben and Andrew (not alternate chapters though) but told in the third person.  I must admit that I preferred Andrew’s voice.  It was also nice that a small section was dedicated to Will, Ben’s father, and his perspective.  Another nice touch were the extracts from Andrew’s children’s book heading up each chapter. This book is emotionally charged and makes your heart ache. A real intuitive, beautiful story. Read it if you are feeling strong!’ Bookish Chat

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‘I loved the Lion Sanctuary setting of The Lion Tamer Who Lost; Louise’s descriptions are so vivid that I was immediately transported to Africa. The relationship between Ben and his lion cub Lucy was a delight and really gave an insight into Ben’s determination and strength of character … Louise’s writing is so powerful that in my mind Ben and Andrew are real people. For days after I’d be thinking about them before catching myself and remembering it wasn’t a film I’d watched or anyone in my life that actually existed. To be able to create that depth of emotion and recognition in a character from a reader takes some doing. A gorgeous book which deserves all the stars!’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘If you are looking for loving crafted, heart-warming and page turning read to welcome in the darkening evenings of the approaching winter, go pick up a copy  at your local book shop or download a copy. Then afterwards read Louise’s other books and prepare to be taken on a magical tour through the wonderful imagination and writings of one the North of England’s rising literary stars’ The Library Door

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The Lion Tamer Who Lost is structured in sections which allow the reader to see the events of the novel from different perspectives, usually alternating between Andrew and Ben … Andrew and Ben are also surrounded by a group of engaging characters, such as Leo, Will and Mike. These allow Beech to explore several contemporary issues such as family relationships, homophobia and sexuality in great detail and I enjoyed the opportunity to consider these issues myself. The ending of The Lion Tamer Who Lost had me in pieces. I experienced every emotion there is as I was reading and it will stay with me for a long time’

 Portable Magic

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The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a very poignant novel, dealing with so many issues, that, as a society, we are striving to improve upon. Louise Beech has captured a moment, a sweet and beautiful moment, that as a reader, you wish could be locked away and cherished forever but alas, life will always intervene. The story of Ben and Andrew is filled with love and regrets, grief and heart break. The Lion Tamer Who Lost is quite an intense read, quite an emotional read, but also, for me, it is a book filled with a magical energy … The Lion Tamer Who Lost is a heartbreaking tale, a novel that will leave it’s mark on you and will make you think….. I will leave with you with this beautiful quote from the ‘novel within a novel’ of The Lion Tamer Who Lost.. ‘You never dance alone, you are always dancing on the bigger feet of those who loved you first’ Passionate. Sensitive. Touching’ Swirl and Thread

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‘Ahhh LouiseWriter ‪The Lion Tamer Who Lost oh … my … God. I have no words to form a review, only tears … (P.S I WILL find the words to review, once my heart has healed a little)   And it WILL be 5 stars’ JM Hewitt

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