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The Birthday Gift – Reviewed by Bernadette Robinson

Review published on March, 2015 on Good Reads
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My thanks to the Publishers and NetGalley for a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

Noah Spearing’s grandfather leaves him a gift which he must only open after his grandfather has passed away. Every family has its own secrets and skeletons in closets and Noah’s family is no different. His grandfather has a past that Noah knows very little about, all that is about to change when he opens the gift.

Noah must decide to do what he thinks is best with the gift. Are his choices the best for all concerned? As his puts into action what he has planned to do with the gift, events suddenly take a very sinister turn. Putting not just himself but other family members in danger.

I really enjoyed this book and stayed up into the early hours of the morning to finish it off as I was dying to find out what happened to them all.

I found it well written and I will be looking out for other books by this Author. I feel that it would make quite a good reading group read due to the content of it and found it to be very thought provoking.

See the original review at Bernadette Robinson’s Reviews

The Birthday Gift – Reviewed by Peter Ward

Wow….

Great read.

Thank you.

However……

I need closure.

Did flora fly to Poland to be with Noah or did she go for one last surf never to be seen again as she felt too much heartbreak?

Did Noah’s fingers recover? Did he drive back with the wind in his locks with his beloved wife flora next to him?

Did the locker ticket get recovered or was it covered in blood and disintegrated?

Is the piece of art still there or did it get recovered by henryk?

Did his friend in London survive and was it just words to get him to talk?

And finally….

How much was it to get the golf out of the multi storey car park?

Perhaps another book of short stories to cover off these areas along with the first book. I need closure… Didn’t sleep well last night thinking about these issues…;-).

Thank you once again. Great read.

P

On Ashover Hill – Reviewed by Ginny Brown

Review published on July 17, 2015 on Facebook

OAH Ginny Brown Review

Sad to say I have come to the end of ‘On Ashover Hill’ by Anthony Scott….it’s been a fabulous read.I fell in love with the characters (all of them!) & loved the locations, the history & culture each chapter embraces.
There are some great messages and hidden storylines happening within a novel which made me quite emotional (cry!) and reflect on the journey we all take in life.
The 1st novel I’ve read where ‘mid-read’ I had the pleasure of the author signing his work for me! Thank you….and tomorrow I will be ordering ‘The Birthday Gift’ xx

See the original review at Facebook/ginny.brown

The Birthday Gift – Reviewed by Kathy Jesson

Review published on June 2, 2015 in Nudge (Newbooks)

Nudge (Newbooks)

Living in Cornwall as I do I was intrigued when this novel, set for the first half of the book in the stunning St Ives, and a maverick choice from Guy, arrived to be reviewed. I was gripped from the first page with the very evocative description of a late Summer evening on a lovely Cornish beach (the book is full of beautifully descriptive writing). I stayed engrossed until the very last page.

Centred around Noah Spearing, a young local teacher, this is the story of events following the death of his beloved grandfather (Joshua) who, with only a short time to live, gives his grandson a mysterious gift to be opened only when Joshua dies. The gift is a painting. To reveal too much more in this review is to destroy the suspense of the novel as it twists and turns towards its exciting conclusion. Suffice to say there are echoes of both the film The Monuments Men and the Donna Tartt novel The Goldfinch as the painting and the way in which it was acquired had its very own sinister history. Almost a character in its own right. The contrast between the exquisite descriptions of Cornwall and the violent scenes played out in Poland is very effective and adds to the sense that things are really not always as they seem on the surface. Secrets can remain hidden for years and then astound us when they are revealed.

Part romance and part thriller, I think this is essentially a novel about love. As the action sweeps from Cornwall to London, through France and Germany and then eventually to Poland, we see various loves in the context of greed, loss, sorrow and betrayal. However somewhere in the midst of all this there is still, thankfully, a fragile thread of hope and loyalty and some bonds which can never be destroyed. This was certainly an unputdownable read, my only disappointment being that the ending was slightly inconclusive and left a few ends to tie up, but there again maybe that is all part of the mystery.

– Kathy Jesson

See the Nudge (Newbooks) The Birthday Gift review at www.nudge-book.com/blog/bookdiva

The Birthday Gift – Sarah Flude Review

Book reviewed 10th May 2015

The birthday gift is one of those books you instantly become engrossed in.

Dreaming of the beautiful settings described and immediately warming to the key characters are unavoidable curses of this book.

I think we would all like to know someone like Noah but Tess was the silent hero for me and someone I could relate to.

And that’s the key here; this books gives you some loveable characters with personality traits you see in either yourself or those around you. But the characters have their personality flaws too and they make mistakes; that’s what I love about them….they’re so realistic and believable and you’re on the journey beside them, every step of the way!

This is a great summer read and will have you desperate to explore the sites mentioned in St Ives or have you yearning to explore further afield.

To anyone reading my review, please DO read this book. You will laugh, you will cry and you will enjoy turning each page to discover how the exciting plot unravels.

Congratulations Anthony on another superb literary journey.

The Birthday Gift – Wyres World Review

Wyres World
Review Published in Wyres World by Bernie Robertson, on 29th March 2015

Wyres World Reveiw

My thoughts

This got a well deserved 8/10 from me.

My thanks to the Publishers and NetGalley for a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

Noah Spearing’s grandfather leaves him a gift which he must only open after his grandfather has passed away. Every family has its own secrets and skeletons in closets and Noah’s family is no different. His grandfather has a past that Noah knows very little about, all that is about to change when he opens the gift.

Noah must decide to do what he thinks is best with the gift. Are his choices the best for all concerned? As his puts into action what he has planned to do with the gift, events suddenly take a very sinister turn. Putting not just himself but other family members in danger.

I really enjoyed this book and stayed up into the early hours of the morning to finish it off as I was dying to find out what happened to them all.

I found it well written and I will be looking out for other books by this Author. I feel that it would make quite a good reading group read due to the content of it and found it to be very thought provoking.

The Birthday Gift – Rachel Thurman Review

Rachel Thurman – Facebook

I’ve just finished reading a book called The Birthday Gift by Anthony Scott. It was brilliant. I’ve not been able to put it down all week so I’ve not been overly sociable but I would recommend reading it! Incredibly good – read it!!

The Birthday Gift – Good Reads Mcrmilhist’s Review

www.goodreads.com

Mcrmilhist TBG Review

Review Published in Good Reads by Mcrmilhist, on 10th March 2015

A gripping balanced combination of thriller and romance that’s a real page turner, but ultimately a little unfulfilling.

Noah lives in St Ives with his mother Tess, grandfather Joshua, and Flora, the girl he loves. His relationship with Flora underpins the story as she is about to marry Jake.

Now this is sounding like a classic romance novel, but it isn’t. As the action moves from Cornwall to London to France to Germany and then to Poland where there’s a final flashback to World War 2 as Joshua discovers the history of “The Birthday Gift”.

I really enjoyed the descriptions in this book. Cornwall and St Ives come across as idyllic places (which of course they are). The writing style is rich, which made the relationships between the characters more believable and compelling.

I loved this book right up until the end when it finished….very suddenly and with too many loose ends…a real shame which is why it gets 4 stars instead of 5.

The Birthday Gift – Netgalley Review

“Noah receives a gift from his grandfather Joshua who is celebrating his 85th birthday. He promises to open it after his grandfather dies. Less than a year later, Joshua dies. When Noah opens the gift, he has a beautiful painting that nearly gets him killed.
The second story line is Noah’s best friend Flora, is set to marry another man and Noah has realized she is the love of his life.
A mystery that dates back to WWII, Russian family members and a love story all wrapped up into one wonderful story that you can’t stop reading.”

The Birthday Gift – Books Monthly Review

www.bookymonthly.co.uk

The Birthday Gift

Anthony Scott: The Birthday Gift

 Published by Matador, paperback, on 28th November 2014

 What would you do if you suddenly discovered that all you thought you knew turned out to be a lie? How would you react if the foundations you had built your life upon turned out to not be foundations at all?
A moment in time caught between a grandfather and grandson, lost in utter joy at the end of a late summer’s day. Click. Soon, devastation follows; the old man loses his fight to live, but leaves an extraordinary gift for his beloved grandson – a gift that will cause much heartache and cause decisions to be made that will put lives on the line.

Noah Spearing is a young man teaching in St Ives, Cornwall, when his life is changed forever after the death of his beloved granddad. A gift left for him from the man he loved more than anyone else turns out to be a poisoned chalice that he must deal with in the best way that he can.
All this comes at a time when the girl he wants is set to marry another man, and Noah must decide not only what to do with the gift from his grandfather, but also his love for Flora Trembath…

The Birthday Gift is a novel that sweeps through issues of love, of hope, of sorrow and of destiny. It spans across Europe, from Cornwall to London to France to Germany and then to Poland. The book is a gripping combination of thriller and romance, revolving around the painting central to the book which featured heavily in the recent Hollywood blockbuster, The Monuments Men, written and directed by George Clooney.

 With the DVD of The Monuments Men out now this is the perfect time to be reading Anthony Scott’s brilliant tale.

On Ashover Hill – Amazon Reviews

Family Ties – Iainefy “Widnes”

Published 10th June 2013
This review is from: On Ashover Hill (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme

‘On Ashover Hill’ by Anthony Scott was not quite the book that I had thought it would be. However, that does not detract from it in any way. I had thought that it was going to be a love story, and indeed it is, but so much more. It is the story (at first) of William McTeer, a soldier in World War II who was stationed in Naples. He meets a girl, Francesca, and is captivated instantly. He goes back to find her after the war, only to discover that her home has been bombed, and that her whereabouts are unknown. He is devastated. However, they manage to find each other, and eventually marry and have a son, Robert.

Robert’s story then takes over, with William and Francesca’s story in the background. The story then moves on and is taken over by Robert’s son, Taylor.

I liked the storyline very much, and loved the way that William and Francesca found each other, and lived their own personal love story. I loved the description of Naples and Florence, the sun and the beauty. I didn’t like Robert at all. He is an entirely unlikeable character, driven, ambitious, deceitful and cruel. He is not the child that I would have expected to be the fruit of the great love between William and Francesca. However, he is a very vital part of the story. Taylor is altogether different from his father, just as Robert was different from William. There is so much in this book, but behind it all, running right through the story is this amazing love affair between William and Francesca, which shines throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and happily recommend it.

Read This Book – Mrs. T. Salmon

Published 28th April 2013
This review is from: On Ashover Hill (Paperback)

This book is amazing,it is written in chapters that span time from the past to the future. Each chapter is told from one of the characters view point. The characters are all so real that I really believed in them. There is William McTeer who meets and falls in love with the beautiful Italian Francesca. Their love story is beautiful,but not sickly soppy. There is their son Robert; who becomes the main character in the book. His best friend Angus, Robert’s children Jasmine and Taylor also have chapters to tell the story.
I will not disclose the plot,as this book needs to be read and enjoyed and I will only say that I was so shocked when I read the last two lines. I was so not expecting it. PLEASE DON’T READ THE LAST 2 LINES UNTIL YOU GET THERE.
If there were 6 stars this would get it . I loved every single word.

Deliberately Disjointed – D Elliott

Published 17th April 2013
 This review is from: On Ashover Hill (Paperback)

The writing style of `On Ashover Hill’ is set by an engaging opening chapter which then appears of little relevance to the main plot. This is based on family relationships and differing values over a period of time, but author Anthony Scott deliberately omits key actions and episodes as he cleverly leaves intriguing gaps in his narrative for readers to fill in the blanks. A major character is Robert as arrogant, greedy and ruthless, yet also charismatic. His most murky and shocking deeds are not described but readers are made uncomfortable by concealed collusion and conspiracy. It may be expected this would create a disjointed story, but interwoven with Robert are his parents, children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues to both admire and despise as the author introduces conflicting concepts of good and evil, love and hate, benevolence and materialism, respect and contempt, forgiveness and blame etc. `On Ashover Hill’ is essentially a love story, but it disguises dark undercurrents and gives readers much to ponder on. Yes – the opening chapter is valid.

Past and future – Mrs. C. A. Troops

Published 8th December 2012
This review is from: On Ashover Hill (Paperback)

I enjoyed this book which started with William and Francesca meeting in war torn Naples and finishes in the future, 2046. In between you see Robert, the son they have growing up in Edinburgh who turns his back on his parents values and lives by greed and a disregard for all other. Woven throughout is the family of Angus, Roberts boyhood friend and a solicitor who looks after Robert’s business interests and who suspects but doesn’t know for sure just how murky Robert’s business dealings are.
As it goes backwards and forwards the lives of the main characters become more and more intertwined. At times it was very much a tear jerker,I admit to having a little weep! Having said all that, it is a bit disjointed in places and has a strange and shocking ending. Not a masterpiece but well worth reading.

Loved it! – Babybear

Published 4th September 2012

This review is from: On Ashover Hill (Paperback)
Customer review from Amazon Vine Programme

Not my usual sort of book but I was intrigued with the fact it started in the future. I got caught up in the family’s lives as the story unfolded through the years. I didn’t want the story to end but when it did, it quite shocked me. A must read in my opinion.

David Marx Book Reviews – On Ashover Hill Review

Published 25th April 2013

David Marx - On Ashover Hill ReviewOn Ashover Hill follows the story of William McTeer, who, in 1943 Naples, falls in love with a young Italian woman. The war invariably forces them apart, but as in many a love story, destiny intervenes, and somehow alerts fate into reuniting the star-crossed lovers to live happily ever after.

Well kind of.
Let it be said that throughout the 373 pages of this novel, we rather surprisingly get far more that might often be the case. For not only do we get the wartime romance, we proceed to follow the eventual offspring of William and Francesca, but also the offspring of the offspring!

This compels me to write that On Ashover Hill could quite easily have been something of an epic. In and of themselves, the storylines really are most interesting, but as a whole, the book is far too condensed. A prime example being the fact that many of the characters are given such a short time on the page, they’re not fully digested by the reader. Many of the twists and turns appear to be rushed, simply in order to be acquainted with the next character. And then yet another character we have yet to meet.

The full review can be read at www.davidmarxbookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/on-ashover-hill/

LeftLion – On Ashover Hill Review

Published April 2013

Left Loin Review
Review of “On Ashover Hill” featured in April’s edition of LeftLion magazine.
(more info to follow)

Female First – On Ashover Hill Review

Lucy Wilton 4th September 2012

What can you tell our readers about your new novel On Ashover HIll?
Set over 103 years, the book starts with the grim discovery of a skeleton hand being discovered on a exclusive building site called On Ashover Hill in 2046. It then shoots back to 1943 and joins William McTeer in the sweltering heat of a Naples day where, as a young sergeant, he tries to whip his new recruits into shape.

The book then works through the decades and many great cities across Europe as William meets the love of his life, Francesca, and the dynasty is born.

On Ashover Hill is titanic tale of a family and its journey through life. Much love and romance is here, as well as intrigue, passion, lust and violence.

The novel starts in 1943 – how much research did you have to put into it?
I have a photo, taken in a sunny Naples parade ground in October 1943, of the sergeant’s mess. There are around 150 smiling faces and there, front right, is my beaming grandad. It is a truth that many of these men had been away from home for upwards of 5 years and had endured the tortuous conditions of fighting through east Africa and then up to what they may have thought was the relative safety of Italy. Certainly on this photo you would have thought so. They did not know the arduous journey they would now face as they went north against a German army determined to keep them at bay. William McTeer, one of the stars of the book, is my young sergeant in Naples and his war record which is replayed in the second chapter of the book mirrors exactly that of my grandad through records obtained and extensive research.
On Ashover Hill sits in many decades and each was carefully researched to ensure the timings and the placings were right. Equally, when I have written into the future I have sought to use research connected to what we think may happen. I have also added my own touches such as the Tate Retro which I happily added on to the Tate Modern! I hope they like it and maybe even use it…

The full review can be read at www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/Anthony+Scott

Chad – Book signing for Mansfield author Anthony Scott in home town

Published on Saturday 1 September 2012

Chad AS Book Signing AN AUTHOR from Mansfield, who has drawn on the places in which he grew up, is getting ready for a book signing in his home town.

Anthony Scott (47), who has been inspired by authors like Sebastian Faulkes, Helen Dunmore and Ian McEwan, was featured in the Chad last month when he spoke about his new novel, On Ashover Hill which touches on his grandfather’s experiences of the Second World War.

The full article can be read at www.chad.co.uk/lifestyle