MAGICAL REALISM, MUST READ

The Angel In My Well – by Kevin Ansbro

This was another excellent book written by the wordsmith Kevin Ansbro. It is a short story that opens at the funeral of Joe (the protagonist and narrator) for his grandmother. Joe and his grandmother are extremely close and Joe falls into a deep depression after the funeral. He sits around for some time not cleaning, eating properly or pretty much anything that normal people do.

Joe’s grandmother appears to him in human form as much younger, from the well at his house. Joe realizes that she was a very beautiful woman when she was young. He takes her to shop for some appropriate clothing and they prepare for a night on the town. She charms everyone she comes into contact with.

This story also has an alternate plot involving a Muslim man and his dire plan. I was perplexed about how this story relates to the beautiful story told of Joe and his grandmother. But, I had total confidence in Kevin Ansbro and his ability to create a perfect merging of the two stories. Of course, he did not disappoint.

This is a beautifully written short story that relates to a personal loss that I suffered through when my grandmother passed away. She had been my primary caretaker while I was growing up and when she passed away I was devastated.

About the Author

I was born of Irish parents, and have lived in Malaysia and Germany:
My formal education was at Hamond’s Grammar School in Swaffham, and at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology (Stephen Fry being a much more famous former student).
I write in the magical realism genre, meshing otherworldliness into the harshness of our real world. I also like to handcuff humour and tragedy to the same radiator.
Perhaps incongruously for an author I have a background in karate and kickboxing. I also travel extensively – particularly in the Far East.
I’m married (to Julie) and currently live in Norwich, England.
Stuff about me: I’m a foodie and an avid reader who values good manners, love and friendship above all else. I am constantly putting my foot in it, am reputed to have a wicked sense of humour and love to laugh, but sometimes do that ‘snorty pig’ noise when I do!
I’m also easy-going and extremely friendly. Come on over and have a chat – I’ll put the kettle on!

MAGICAL REALISM, MUST READ

Kinnara – Kevin Ansbro

“In Thailand and all of Southeast Asia, two of the most beloved mythological characters are the benevolent half-human, half-bird creatures known as the Kinnara and Kinnari, which are believed to come from the Himalayas and often watch over the well-being of humans in times of trouble or danger”

Whenever I read a book by this author, I come out of it being a little more informed than when I started it. 

Calum and Hannah grew up together and were the best of friends both residing in Norwich. Hannah has been in love with Calum since they were children. He, however, is preoccupied with other things of the boyish nature. They become separated when Hannah’s father is transferred for his job to another location. Hannah was crushed when Calum doesn’t say one last goodbye. They don’t see each other for years. But, fear not, they do meet up again.

After Calum’s current girlfriend is caught in the act, so to speak with a co-worker, Calum goes to Thailand solo on a planned vacation that was supposed to be for two. 

This novel takes place in England, Germany, and Thailand. It is clear that the author has been to and fallen in love with Thailand. The descriptions of the landscape and the people of Thailand, along with their beliefs and customs made me feel as if I was there with Calum. Here he meets a poor Thai boy named Sawat. He and Sawat become fast friends. 

Now, over in Germany, a serial killer is obsessed with pregnant women. At this point, I am scratching my head as to how all this is going to fit together. But have faith in the author he never disappoints.

The Kinnara in this story has been punished for a long-ago transgression of the murder of a human and has been banished to the bottom of the sea to sit and wait for forgiveness from someone. 
This was an adventure ride. Better than a roller coaster. Splendidly researched, romantic but not sickening. Happiness and sorrow both reside on the pages. A brilliant 5***** review for me. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

About the Author

Kevin Ansbro was born of Irish parents, and has lived in Malaysia and Germany:
He was educated at Hamond’s Grammar School in Swaffham, and at the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology, King’s Lynn.
Kevin also has a background in karate and kickboxing and has travelled extensively – particularly in the Far East.
He is married to Julie, and currently lives in Norwich, England.

Likes: Art, travel, good manners, independent women, Sunday newspapers and dirty laughs; funk, punk, Bob Marley, Pulp, Foo Fighters, Marmite, winks, pouts, Masterchef Australia and Earl Grey tea.

Dislikes: Strawberries (I’m not alone with this one), drivers who don’t indicate, men who devote their weekends to cleaning the family car (what’s that all about?) English winters, 1970s-style armpit hair on women, skinflints, insufficiently-chilled white wine, homophobes, misogynists, xenophobes and ignorant jerks in general.

Right, enough about me: my books are way more interesting.
http://www.kevinansbro.co.uk