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Tied Lives  By  cover art

Tied Lives

By: Jonathan Finch
Narrated by: Steve Hart
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Publisher's Summary

Reginald Washington, a lonely, politically correct, rich, and highly esteemed English civil servant, nearing retirement age, meets by chance a strangely attractive Asian lady in an English pub. She is young enough to be his daughter and comes from the poorest region of Thailand, the Isaan. They begin a passionate love affair and despite many differences and family conflict, they fall deeply in love. She has a well buried past which she does not want him to know anything about.

A holiday in Thailand which takes them to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and a small village near Buriram begins happily enough but a series of events leads to a completely unforeseen conclusion. Even before they can struggle to come to terms with their changing relationship and attempt to gain insight and resilience, bad luck - or karma - takes control and seems intent on ruining their love. Separated and traumatized, Reginald finds himself journeying alone to Pattaya, Thailand's notorious, red-light city, where he tries to piece together his true love's past. She knows he is there and rushes to join him.

Jonathan Finch’s ironic and tragic novel depicts England full of itself, a world leader, with confident, affluent, successful and conceited people everywhere, and Thailand a country with social ills and problems galore. East is east and west is west. Can the two ever meet? Can Reginald L. Washington and his future Thai bride ever bridge the gap? In a world where divisions and differences abound, unity seems an unobtainable goal.

Consistently given four and five stars by reviewers, Finch’s latest novel is stylistically innovative and literary. Its irony is directed against vanity, over-reaching societies and politically correct conformism as well as being critical of one of Thailand's most characteristic ways of coping with poverty.

©2019 Jonathan Finch (P)2019 Jonathan Finch

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I finally got it. In the end..

I really liked it. A nice flow with the sense it is going somewhere.
Narrators always get a hard review. Boo to those, I thought this narrator was exceptional, and it turns out I listened to a book of his 2 years ago and loved that too. GOOD CHOICE!

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  • LMRozycki
  • 05-22-22

Lackluster

What a load of waffle. It's a story written as a straight narrative, everything is told and nothing is shown, mostly in passive voice. It's like an essay. We start off with one of the most basic mistakes, a laundry list of the main character's features and attributes. It's a long slog of a tale with minimal dialgue and characterisation. It's clear it's been written by an acadamician as it's full of long-winded exposition and self-indulgent prose. Everything if flowery.
There are numerous mistakes in the book as a whole. There's no sympathetic main character. No tension or stakes. It just goes on and on. There are entire events that are captioned within a few short sentences that rush the reader from one event to the next and above all, nothing really happens. There's no clear distinction between the characters and they barely speak to each other.
The author would do well to read books on how to write. Or actually read different genres. This is definately meant for an audience of older, pipe smoking beard twiddlers who read through fogged glasses and miss the days when their literary criticisms were heralded as law.
I would not recommend it. Written by Dumbledore for Dumbledore.