Monday 25 April 2022

#BlogTour A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney. A stand out piece of literary fiction.

About the Author
Diana Janney is the author of the novels The Choice and The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose, which has been translated into German, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese. It was produced by the BBC as an audiobook and the film rights were sold.

Formerly she practised as a barrister in London after having qualified as a solicitor at a leading City of London international law firm. She read Philosophy at University College, London, where she received a First for her Masters thesis on Kant and Hume, and three Scholarships. She has received international acclaim for her writing, which combines her philosophical knowledge with her wit, poetry and keen observation of human nature. Diana lives on the Kent/Sussex borders. She has spent most of her adult life living in London.

About the book
It takes a man of understanding to rebuild a shattered soul: a man with a deep and learned grasp of philosophy and poetry, a man who can nurture and inspire an enquiring mind, a man with the wit and humour to bring the world alive. That enigmatic man is Horatio Hennessey.

His grandson Blue is that shattered soul. Following the death of twelve-year-old Blue's parents, he arrives in the mountains of Mallorca, to live with the grandfather he has never met. But is Horatio, 'Granga' to Blue, upto the challenge? Or is he merely trying, through his own grandson, to make good his past? Gradually a bond evolves between them through a shared love of poetry. But when secrets are uncovered, will understanding turn to misunderstand? Will two souls be shattered this time?

One could say it's pretentious and ambitious  - it certainly speaks of a belief in a certain level of academic prowess and talent, when literary work is described in the confines, boundaries and expectations of poetry, philosophy and literature. And here we are. This book manages to work within those expectations, cross the boundaries and expand upon the expectations, and it is also so much more at the same time.

I tell no lie when I say that I shed a tear at the end. Not for the story or the characters per se, but rather for the beauty this work entails and encompasses, and brings together so seamlessly. A melding of word art, emotional turmoil and entwining it with such a firm grasp on existential thoughts and fears.

No thought or word to be uttered without deeper introspection. No interaction noted or action taken without an exploration of depth of connection, of creativity, and acknowledgement of simply being - of existence.

I adored it. I love the art of poetry, and questions of philosophy that burn to be dissected. This is such a wonderful combination of the two, which is only enhanced by the presence of the Blue and Horatio. The stripping of persona and relationships to the core of inner essence - soul, if one can identify something so elusive and tangible. Then using core emotions of grief, abandonment, the need to belong and be loved to drive this powerful story to a conclusion, which is in itself once more a beginning or end, a door to be closed or opened. Beautiful work.

Buy A Man of Understanding at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Cogito Publishing, pub date 7th April 2022 - paperback - £8.99. Buy via Cogito Publishing.

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