Here are some responses from readers who have read The Leaving. Feel free to add comments of your own.
This was a great read from cover to cover; just the thing for an Autumn evening. Fairly easy to read but also thought-provoking. A good and unpredictable plot, with enjoyable characters. There are some ‘adult content’ and swear words, which some folk may be uncomfortable over.
A gripping novel with interesting characters, a mystery and addressing some fundamental questions about marriage, the church and spirituality. Highly recommended.
Really enjoyed this book, couldn’t put it down, great read and would thoroughly recommend it. Read the last few chapters into the early hours of the night. Not a great endorsement of the hierarchy of the Church of England, but the author reveals a depth of understanding of the pressures of an ordinary parish priest. A beautiful evocation of a remote Scottish community which left me searching trainline for the first available ticket.
I couldn’t put this book down and was sad to read the last page. The plot is full of intrigue, multi – layered and pacey. The characters are beautifully created and all held my interest. Andrew has a great way of describing situations and places and I held clear pictures of them in my mind’s eye. Such interesting subject matters, and all very much woven around our human nature and relationships. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Andrew Chapman is a great story-teller. The Leaving draws the reader along not only because of the mystery at its heart but through the absorbing way Andrew explores people, place and the fascinating themes of solitariness, faith, doubt and loss. His characters and the questions this book raises stayed with me far beyond the last page.
This storyline of this book shows good and thorough research. I had thought when I started to read it that elements of the story were somewhat far fetched but before I got to the end of the book, to my surprise, a similar event was reported in the national news. The tension of relationships and inner thoughts of the two main characters was gripping and by the end of the book, I felt as though I knew the characters who lived in the Scottish Highlands personally.
Andrew is a masterly story teller -he entwines his philosophy and story beautifully. The book has some disturbing elements that create more questions than answers and it was a compelling read. Thank you.
What an absolute treat this book was. It was a real page turner, that kept us thinking until the very last page. Andrew, thank you…. your best one yet!
The Leaving – What a fantastic book. After reading it I went straight back to the beginning and started again. It satisfied on some many levels and it was like peeling an onion.
This is just a very brief summary of what I got out of the book and my sincere apologies to the author if I have misinterpreted his aim, but it was such a good read!
The concept of solitude I picked up from three dimensions, Nick, his wife, with unintentional solitude and the tramp. I loved the way Nick’s experienced is coloured by his first experience of Thomas Merton’s Autobiography who of course wrestled with solitude and his desire for it all his monastic life. The book also perhaps challenged that guilty desire some might have and I would confess to, of solitude in a remote cottage with the sweet/sour experience it can bring. For me it was a cathartic mental journey exploring how much I would have wanted Nick’s initial expectation and experience of isolation. It was almost a relief to realise that for me it would be loneliness and isolation and life would lose its meaning.
Not wanting to give the plot away there were beautifully crafted scenarios which gripped and moved such as the incident with the cello in Glasgow. Nick’s wife’s experience and acceptance of her situation was also fascinating. Throughout the book my allegiances to Nick and then to his wife kept changing. Ultimately my feelings about them both didn’t resolve until the last page.
Finally the setting. The area where Nick is based is an area I have been privileged to visit. Andrew Chapman describes the area beautifully and brings it to life with his wonderful and diverse characters. Thank you for a wonderful read and challenging mental exploration of what solitude might mean to me.
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