Reviewing ‘Not Thomas’ By Sara Gethin.

I purchased this book and had been looking forward to reading it, after twenty or so e-books that I had promised I’d read were finally finished. The books had been clogging my tablet and sitting heavily; as guilt does on my mind. Life gets in the way of promises and dreams and is oblivious to anything interrupting it. So we sold up in Somerset and relocated back once more to Suffolk, the doing of that move left things undone, books unread, friends uncalled, my blog bereft of fresh stories and my manuscript on hold.

So I purchased Not Thomas and was excited to read something fresh by a name I didn’t know. I was drawn to the cover, the boy at the window looked thoughtful the colours inviting. I had spotted the promotion popping up on Facebook and Twitter, I followed her name to see who she was on WordPress. I read it, the cover, ‘Imagine You’re Five, Alone In The House, And Someone Gets In’.

I purchased and waited for it to arrive. We are refurbishing and I may have waited, but in my head, as I say life cracks on. People are not always honest about their rituals on receiving a parcel of a book, but I read the outside of my package, stroked it a little *sigh* and removed the cardboard. Number one, I am not odd, or certifiable but I do love a book. Two, trusting my rituals to followers may make them ‘come out’, admit they have some as … diverse as mine, but hopefully won’t make them scarper. So, I now have my very own copy in my hands, I caress it with my eyes , sniff its perfume, ooh i love to smell books.

Well then things went a bit skewed the surveyor turned up and round two began, my reading time vanished with talk of bi-fold doors, dry-rot and bathrooms. To cut a story short; which really isn’t the way Ellen rocks, Thomas was put on hold. A bout of illness slowed my progress on the house as the husband put down his size nines and firmly but kindly made me stop. So amidst the dust and noise, I picked up Thomas and recovered by reading.

Firstly no spoilers! Just my thoughts and opinions.

The scariest thing is the way this five-year-old boy tells his story/nightmare as if it is normal. Although the fear is palpable there are moments of pure gold like his letters and post scripts. While you read, if you’re not careful you will need tissues both ends, because you can’t put it down even to pee.

Sara manages the language perfectly, it is simple and pure, as a child’s voice is. Most of the book is told by Tomos clearly, concisely and in an earth shattering simplistic way. The absolute horror going on around him, the neglect so casually passed over by his Mum. The attitude ofturn the other cheek the neighbour had across the street, she who looks back at him from her window. It is as if they have not a clue that it’s wrong. Mum, loves him in her way, she doesn’t allow him to reach her paraphernalia hidden in full view in the bathroom, she takes away his ladder so he doesn’t come from his high bed and see stuff or get hurt. You can feel Thomos’s love as he cwutches up with her on the sofa.

This book is by far one of the best reads I have had in five years, the writer is the most exciting new thing to come out of Wales since the Severn Bridge. If you read nothing else this year you simply have to read ‘Not Thomas’.

P.S. I see another book ready to spring from the ending.

It is the day after I finished reading the book but I am not ready to let him go just yet. So Not Thomas joins me for breakfast, a feast I would have fed Tomos if I could.

My review I know is a little different from the norm but I hope you enjoyed it, I am not known for writing book reviews on my blog which must tell you how passionate I am about this one, and hope you will be too. #LoveTomos

Please leave me a comment below.


70 thoughts on “Reviewing ‘Not Thomas’ By Sara Gethin.

  1. I like that you included the “real life” surrounding your reading of the book – the waiting, the anticipation; it’s part of the experience, after all! It does sound like a captivating story; I’m not sure I’ve read a book with such a young narrator. Adding to my To-Be-Read list! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have actually read several books by several authors, from King, Cussler, and Patterson who are incredible in their own right. But none of those listed above have captivated me as much as this book has. P.S: I like your blog. Thank you so much

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great review… the book sounds very intriguing. I love a good character that I don’t want to quite let go. Adding it to my ever growing list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Ellen. Your line about needing tissues both ends made me laugh out loud! And Iโ€™m so glad you took little Tomos to your heart โ€“ he would love that breakfast!
    Iโ€™m looking forward to following the progress of your home renovations โ€“ and your manuscript! โ€“ on your blog now Iโ€™m following you.
    All the best and thanks again!
    Sara x

    Liked by 1 person

            1. The move here leaves me outside the loop of contacts but I will see what I can find. They will be if they want in on the first rung of your climbing fame. I nearly wrote climbing frame… Thomos still has me right there.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hi again, Ellen – I’ve been reading through the comments on this post (they’re all so lovely, thank you!) and just realised that my own short replies read like that section in Not T where Tomos and Danni are in the car and the other social worker rings up. I’m turning into my own fiction!! I wonder if this happens to all writers?! I’d better watch out.
                Have a lovely Sunday, and thanks again for all your support,
                S x

                Liked by 1 person

  5. Who says you have to follow book review conventions? Good job in my humble opinion and agreed the cover is a real draw; also agree that actual books are more tangible and have a certain something that electronic variants don’t. Hope the moves going well, or do I mean unboxing? Yes, I rather think I do. In my world, post move, if its still in a box after two months its clutter as what ever is in it I’ve not missed…I digress.

    Not normally my type of book although of late I’m not so sure what is due to a sudden divergence in reading. Might as well add this one now, since your accolades are well argued ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for perusing my post Gary. The boxes unpacked are wiating for cupboards. We are twelve weeks in our Victorian converted school house, no furniture could turn corners to get up the twisted steep staircase so the husband cut out banisters and handrails. He fashioned cupboards and wardrobes from alcoves and old water tank spaces. Re wiring sockets and lights shoring up lath and plaster ceilings came first. So the boxes will slowly be sorted now there is a place to begin. The book wasn’t of a genre that usually calls me, but reading makes us write better so it was meant for me to read and I’m glad that I did.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, what a place that sounds. Bit of an adventure too so no wonder unboxing has been deferred. Did it come with ghosts???

        Agreed too; Iโ€™ve found my reading genre (and film watching for that matter) widening of late. Almost finished Girl On A Train, which is very unlike me genre wise. Fully enjoyed your post too. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for considering reading Not Thomas, Gary. I’d love to hear your views on it. It’s got three cover endorsements from men, but men’s reviews of Not T are a bit thin on the ground. The ones that have read it said very encouraging things though (and I’m not only counting my other half in there!). Let me know if you try it.
      Hope you have a great weekend,
      Sara ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My pleasure Sara, Iโ€™m genre hopping quite a bit at the moment so am willing to try things Iโ€™d not normally look at. If my blogging friends throw out a recommendation then usually I go with that rather than perusing Amazon on the off chance. Iโ€™ve sent a request to access your blog too so I can drop you a direct line once Iโ€™ve got it to the top of my TBR pile.

        Have a great Sunday ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks, Gary – have a great Sunday yourself!
          (Let me know if you have a problem getting access to follow my blog – it should be straightforward, but occasionally I get a request to follow a ‘practise’ blog I had before my new one was up and running and that always gets blocked, so sorry if you found that one.)

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Not sure why, but I shy away from emotional books with children. I even vetoed The Hunger Games when my book club wanted to read it because. . . children killing each other. Ever since I had a child, crawling into a child’s painful experiences makes me squirm, like looking down from a roller coaster car at the top of hill and knowing you’re safe, but still feeling scared.
    I love how you describe Thomas’ voice, though. And as I look at my own young son and ponder how he might think of the experiences you describe, I realize I’m the one bringing the pain to the experience. To a child, living in a tough reality, it’s just reality. I’m adding this to my list for my book club next year, even if it scares me a little.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I may have done back in 2010 though the cover was different than the one today. Now I have to check… not easy when half your stuff is still boxed. Thank you for coming Susie and taking part.


    2. Thank you for your lovely comment about Not Thomas, Susie! (Btw, Room had a big impact on me – I started writing Not T in 2001 but never thought it would be published because of the 5-yr-old viewpoint. Then Emma published Room in 2010 & I loved it so much that it encouraged me to finish Not T and try to find a publisher. I’m very grateful to Ms Donoghue!)
      Have a great weekend,
      Sara ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

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