Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for the debut book by author Jo Furniss. Huge thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me!
About this book…
When a family camping trip takes a dark turn, how far will one mother go to keep her family safe?
Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.
Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.
When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?
I’ve been intrigued by this book for sometime now as at one point I seemed to see it’s cover everywhere on social media! I am loving my audio books at the moment so was thrilled to get an audio CD to listen to for my review copy. But I’m going to start my review by saying that about 30% into the CD, I actually decided to download the ebook instead. Much as I loved listening to this story, I began to get annoyed with the narrator (mainly her voices but also her pronunciation of some words!!) so decided to switch to reading instead of listening and I much preferred it that way! I was also completely hooked by the plot by then and wanted to be able to keep up the momentum instead of having to stop listening whenever I got out of the car (I listen to audiobooks when driving!!)
I am struggling to pigeon hole All The Little Children into any one genre but I would say it’s a post apocalyptic domestic thriller and one that I think any parent will appreciate straight away. When a family camping trip takes a very unexpected turn, Marlene Greene has to make some tough decisions to save her family and keep them all safe. There were some heartbreaking and tough to read/listen to scenes here and they were made even more terrifying by just how realistic the storyline was. I haven’t read anything like this before and the plausibility of this families predicament really hit home for me. What happened to them affected me deeply and as a mother myself I felt every emotion that Marlene and Joni went through. I think that because Jo Furniss made Marlene just like a normal mum rather than a reluctant hero, her character felt more lifelike. She’s not a perfect parent, she makes mistakes and she has to deal with situations she hasn’t got a clue how to handle but her basic survival mode has kicked in and her fight or flight instincts have been primed. This woman will do everything she can to keep her and her family alive.
Jo Furniss writes so beautifully bringing to life her characters and the horrific future facing them. There is a good balance of hope for the future alongside the realisation that the lives they previously had have now gone for good. And then there is that ending!! I’m not sure what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t that!! But I felt it was the perfect way to leave All The Little Children as I’m still thinking days later about Marlene and the rest of the characters we met here.
I’m so glad that after all these months of wondering about this book that I’ve finally been able to read it and I’m happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It grabbed me and tugged at my heartstrings in a way I hadn’t been expecting. I was very impressed by this debut and I’m really keen to read more by Jo Furniss! She has another book out later this year and I will definitely be adding it to my TBR list.
All the Little Children is available to purchase now from Amazon UK (please note that this is an affiliate link) My review copy of the audiobook CD came from the author.
Meet the author…
After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the UK, she lived in Switzerland and Cameroon, and currently resides with her family in Singapore.
As a journalist, Jo has worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle, The Economist, Business Traveller, Expat Living (Singapore) and Swiss News. Jo has also edited books for a Nobel Laureate and the Palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University. In 2015 she founded http://www.SWAGlit.com—an online literary magazine for writers in Singapore.
All the Little Children is Jo’s debut novel and she is working on a second domestic thriller to be released in 2018.