Today I am one of the bloggers hosting Richard Lumsden and his new book, ‘The Six Loves of Billy Binns’. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:
At well over a hundred years old, Billy Binns believes he’s the oldest man in Europe and knows his days are numbered. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time.
As he looks back at the relationships that have coloured his life – and the events that shaped the century – he recalls a lifetime of hopeand heartbreak.
What does TWG think?
Oh Billy Binns – such an old soul. Billy realises that time is of the essence where is life is concerned. However due to his flailing memory and uncertainty towards his surroundings, Billy has limited concept of the here and now, yet, if he tries his best, he can attempt to remember the times in his life where his heart got it right. Of course the memories aren’t 100% exact, but he tries his best to try to resonate with his emotions one last time. After all, those he loved are long gone – you can’t fault him for wanting to leave this Earth having remembered the good times….can you?
Look, I will hold my hands up and say that this book wasn’t my usual cup of tea, but I was totally able to appreciate the thought that went into creating such a character as Billy Binns. Not only did the author have to create Billy’s personality in the present, he had to create Billy’s personality during various points of his characters life. Billy’s childhood included. I found it very clever how the author managed to seamlessly switch between the past and the present, whilst also being in tune with Billy’s thoughts (or lack of), without showcasing the character as the type of person who had lost his marbles. Believe it or not, yes, Billy’s memory wasn’t his friend – he was in his hundreds! But he, so I thought, was still as smart as a button. It was as though his mind was young but his body wasn’t.
For me personally, ‘The Six Loves of Billy Binns’ was a touching novel but it wasn’t for me…if you catch my drift. I didn’t dislike it, I did enjoy it. I guess I just found it hard to relate to the main character and his life. That said, just because the book wasn’t for me, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy what I read because I did. It was lovely to get to know such a gentle and worldly man. A man who clearly was in touch with his emotions, and that itself was lovely to see.
Richard Lumsden has clearly written this book from the heart as it is evident the entire way through. I’m so glad that I was able to get the chance to ‘meet’ Billy Binns and walk alongside him in his very last journey. Powerful, poignant and emotionally driven – if only there were more Billy Binns in this world.