Reviews of “Lonesomeness”
The Ecology of Lonesomeness is just out today, but here is the first review aleady. I will post more as they come in.
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Once in a while a book takes you completely by surprise. This was one of those books for me.
Kaleb is in Scotland on a purely educational and scientific excursion. He doesn’t care about the claims of the Loch Ness Monster or any other mysteries surrounding this lonesome loch. He wants to do his research and that’s it. When he meets Jessie, it takes him by surprise that he falls in love with her. Jessie grew up surrounded by the lonesomeness of the loch and is unlike anyone Kaleb has ever met. The real question is if he can balance the scientist in himself with the man in love, and if he can look past Jessie’s secrets.
I can only describe how I felt while reading this book as captivated. It somehow managed to balance a lot of science with love and make it so NOT boring. It has the mysteries of Loch Ness intertwined with the mysteries of Jessie’s heart is such a creative way that I was truly blow away by this book – and I wasn’t expecting that.
I’ll be honest, too, that I don’t think a lot of books by men in the romance genre really and truly portray women correctly. But, this author manages to do that with Jessie very well. She is a complicated character and she manages to be complicated without being whiney or annoying – which is always a plus!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think if you’re looking for something that is a little different in the romance genre you really need to pick this one up. I think you’ll love it as much as I did.
Crystals many reviewers
What a wonderful story! Kaleb and Jessie are the type of people I would like to have as friends. The descriptions of the flora and fauna and landscape in Scotland made me wish I was there. The interactions between the people in the book were fun, interesting and believable. The dilemma that Kaleb faces is definitely a major one – one that could impact his future. I liked the fact that Jessie was portrayed as a strong woman with strong beliefs, able to keep a secret and knew what she wanted. Kaleb was much more open than Jessie in some ways but not in others. I loved the scene with the kilt! Mr. O’Brien has created another well written story that was a pleasure to read. Thank you to him for asking me to read and review this book! ~ Cathy Geha, Library Thing
This is a captivating story that leads the reader through the scientific method without being boring. It leads one on a merry chase as to what the “glitch” could possibly be in Kaleb’s data. The writing is beautiful and makes one be able to visualize the entrancing scenery that is Scotland. Kaleb and Jessie are well fleshed out characters, but they aren’t the only characters worthy of note. Arab and Malcom are both eccentric men who add flavor to the piece. They can be crusty and cantankerous, but they both know what they are about. There are several plot twists that keep the reader thinking. This is a marvelous book that everyone who has wondered about the Loch Ness should read.
Belinda Wilson. Amazon.com
I was given this book in return for an honest review. I admit I was a little worried at first as this is not my usual genre to read. However once I picked it up I found it hard to put it down. The love story was beautiful but also believable. Not a lovely girl falling in love immediately, but the relationship having ups and downs. The science is written in such a way that you can understand and follow it.
I love Jessie, she is independent and has her own mind, you also discover that she is trustworthy with a secret of her own. I also love Kaleb, intelligent, well spoken and loving.
The book is beautifully written, the English is sublime. I used the ‘highlight’ feature on my kindle for the first time, so I could read a particular paragraph again. I will put it here to let you all read the brilliance that is David as there is no spoilers within it.
“She raised herself up on him when they reached the shallows, her torso emerging from the lake; pale and perfect like some embodiment of the Lady in the Lake from the legend of King Arthur. The water beaded on her skin and ran down over her breasts and arms. Her tied up curls were bejewelled with water drops that sparkled in the sunlight, like diamonds sewn into her hair. The softness of her skin contrasted with the rough feel of the granite pebbles below his back, into which he slowly sank even deeper.”
This is a must read, you will love it I am sure. Love, mystery and a myth solved. What is not to love.
Helen Pearce. Amazon.com
O’Brien creates a story about the search for the existence or non-existence of a mythical monster that brings together several youthful, yearning characters. Lonesomeness is an affliction that impacts the conflicts and dilemmas that the young scientists face in this novel. Some of the youthful combatants are Dougal, Bertha, Jessie, and Kaleb. Science is the comfortable domain and area of expertise of the scholars, but social entanglements present stormy conflicts. The Loch Ness monster dwells in a cold and isolated climate in Scotland. How could it have existed for all these years alone? Life for humans, alone, is explored through the yearnings, lusts, and exploits of the young characters. The novel parallels the lonesome yearnings of the youths on a quest with their inability to pursue the source of their own isolation.
Jessie and Kaleb are the most complex characters. Jessie is loyal to her native Scotland and the mysteries and culture within. She accepts her homeland for what it is. Kaleb, the American, is different. He enjoys the unexpected and challenges. Although awkward in the environs of Scotland, he finds refuge in the cold and detachment of the monster and people. Jessie does awaken his senses and his body to be in tune to something new. The two engage sexually, but the emotional commitment is far more challenging for the pair. Kaleb is not readily receptive, and Jessie is not readily willing to let of her patriotic resolve in exchange for love. Will the pair come together as they accept and respect difference in the Scottish environs of the mind and body? Can the within be conquered? Should the Loch Ness mystery remain so as a means of preserving the cultural ethos of the people?
I enjoyed this book because the writer concentrated upon the relationships built around the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster as a vehicle to build characterization. I could smell and savor the fish and chips as the characters indulged. Still, I felt the cold and the damp within and without of the characters.
San Francisco book review
I was really impressed and taken by surprise with this book. When it comes to romance novels, I honestly do not put much stock in men doing them justice. I was pleasantly surprised thought to see how well rounded Jessie was. She was not sexed up, whinny, timid or bitchy like other male authors make the female character. Instead she was complex, strong, secretive, loving, bold and womanly. I greatly enjoyed the delicate balance between Jessie and Kaleb as their love unfolded. The interactions were fun and believable. Plus, the Loch Ness Monster is just fun to read about.
Although this book is chalk full of science, it incorporates its in a way that is not boring or overwhelming. It does not slow the book down, but adds to it. I really thought at first I was going to have to flip past pages to get to the “good parts” and through all the science, but I actually enjoyed reading about Kaleb’s process. It really added to the book and helped transport me to Scotland.
This book is a gem.
If you are a Scotland lover, a Nessie hunter and a hopeless romantic, look no further, this is it.
Let me say you, this Author writes in the most beautiful way, it’s amazing how he describes scenery, situations, even the weather! Both main characters, Kaleb and Jessie, are complex and well-developed, they are opposites connected through the Loch Ness, and I highly enjoyed reading how they fall in love. The plot is intense, full of details and long explanations, if you didn’t know anything about Scotland, after you read this book you will consider yourself an expert in the matter, and probably can be an Scotland tourist guide.
This is a Must Read book!!
*I received a Free copy in exchange for an Honest Review*
Julia, Romorror Fan Girl
I liked this story, as it was a fun twist on the Loch Ness monster. I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and I thought he did a particularly good job with his characters. The characters were well written and likable (Arab and Malcolm were two of my particular favorites) and I liked the build up of Kaleb and Jessie’s relationship.
My biggest complaint was the heavy focus on science in the story, which I was not expecting as it was primarily marketed as a romance novel. I don’t have a problem with the science being in the book; I didn’t like that the science would crowd out the romance. This book was supposed to be a romantic novel that featured science, not a scientific novel that featured some romance. And while the science angle was interesting and added to the story, there were times were I felt like I needed a degree in ecology to understand and track what was going on.
I think this would be a great read for those who like a little romance in their stories, but want more than just the romance. This would also be a great book for those who might not normally like reading romance novels, as it’s a great way to wet your “romance” feet while still reading an interesting suspense/science-y novel.
Sharing links and wisdom
A quick trawl through Amazon reveals any number of novels on the Loch Ness Monster. But I bet there are few like David O’Brien’s which mixed scientific expertise with a romance.
The descriptions of the Scottish countryside are almost so good I could draw a picture without having to refer to an actual picture. I could feel the chill air, see the wind playing over the lake and smell the fish and chips at the Canalside Fish and Chip shop.
We meet the term Lonesomeness early in the novel. This is a clever play on words and you will find out why as you read the novel.
This is where Jessie and Kaleb meet and while he does his post-doctoral research on the Ecology of Loch Ness he mends his broken heart and discovers something that the locals want to protect from tourism.
Kaleb and Jessie’s romance seems almost inevitable. She’s a local on holiday from University in London and Kaleb is American doing some post-doctoral research. As they fall in love they grapple with the issue of whether or not Jessie will move to the United States and all that entails. This is no surprise….nor is the solution.
But while they grapple with these issues Kaleb finds skewed readings in his data.
You will have to read the novel to find out what the source of these skewed readings is. As you do enjoy the scenery and the romance. Look inside Jessie’s parent’s pub, The Shredded Sail and tramp with Jessie, Kaleb and Jessie’s father through the rugged valleys and the Highlands.
This is an enjoyable and at times scholarly read. I liked that because although David O’Brien is clearly an accomplished ecologist, he respected that most readers did not want to read a text book.
It was enjoyable and allowed us a look into the scientist’s world without showing off.
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