Tuesday 25 April 2023

#Blogtour The Arrow Garden by Andrew J. King

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Arrow Garden by Andrew J. King.

About the Author

Brought up to value thinking and making equally, Andrew’s first degree was in English Literature and Fine Art. He also holds an MA in Visual Culture at Bath Spa University. A lifelong interest in aspects of Japanese culture led to an extended trip in 2011 in the aftermath of the tsunami, assisting and observing participants in spectacular Shinto rituals of horseback archery.

The Arrow Garden is his first novel. Early drafts were longlisted for the Bridport Prize and The Bath Novel Award, before winning the BNA outright in 2020.

Andrew lives in Bath, England. When not writing he is to be found riding strange bicycles or, very occasionally, practicing traditional Japanese archery. Follow @AndrewJKing5 on Twitter

About the book

He needs a reason to live, she doesn’t want to die. When lonely and socially isolated translator, Gareth, takes up traditional Japanese archery in 1990s Bristol, he learns that to study Kyudo is to reach out, to another culture, another time, other people… But when one of them reaches back, two lives that should never have touched become strangely entangled.

In wartime Tokyo, Tanaka Mie, finds herself wandering the burned-out ruins of her dead parents’ fire-bombed home, with only hazy recollections of how she survived. Setting out on a hike to a mountain village shrine, away from the charred city, she begins a life to which she is not sure she is entitled, a life which feels like living on the other side of the sky. To visit the past or the future, even in imagination, is to change it. But it is also to be changed.


Gareth and Tanaka become the split arrow travelling towards a specific target, unbeknownst to the two of them, with completely different paths and experiences. The intersecting and crossing, and of the course the way the arrow becomes the metaphor for life and the journey taken, is miniscule moment that should be seen in its entirety. Step away from the complex ant hill of humanity, the tragedy and sense of fate, then imagine the vastness of each such encounter. The way every life holds the equal measure or capability of creating a negative or positive response and encounter. 

It leaves the reader with this wistful feeling that is hard to pinpoint, but hovering there in the background. The poetic and lyrical immersion of thought and emotion, as the soul of this creative expanse is laid bare. The echo of survivor's guilt still a haunting companion until the end.

I really enjoyed the way the study of Kyudo was used as a way to drive, mirror and become the plot. Beautifully crafted and executed, so kudos to the author. I also think the postscript is equally written with a gentle tread and has the same amount of importance.

I loved the writing, the way each description and moment is almost like a held breath waiting to be expelled. Beautifully lyrical and consciously realistic when necessary. Definitely an author to watch.

Buy The Arrow Garden at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Aderyn Press pub date 19 Jan. 2023. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Aderyn Press.

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