Kicking off March with a super interesting read, today I am reviewing We Are Animals by Tim Ewins. Big thanks to Tim for providing me with a copy of the book for review, and to Rachel from Rachels Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.
A cow looks out to sea, dreaming of a life that involves grass.
Jan is also looking out to sea. He’s in Goa, dreaming of the passport-thief who stole his heart (and, indeed, his passport) forty-six years ago. Back then, fate kept bringing them together, but lately it seems to have given up.
Jan has not. In his long search he has accidentally held a whole town at imaginary gunpoint in Soviet Russia, stalked the proprietors of an international illegal lamp-trafficking scam and done his very best to avoid any kind of work involving the packing of fish. Now he thinks if he just waits, if he just does nothing at all, maybe fate will find it easier to reunite them.
His story spans fifty-four years, ten countries, two imperfect criminals (and one rather perfect one), twenty-two different animals and an annoying teenager who just…
But maybe an annoying teenager is exactly what Jan needs to help him find the missing thief?
Featuring a menagerie of creatures, each with its own story to tell, We Are Animals is a quirky, heart-warming tale of lost love, unlikely friendships and the certainty of fate (or lack thereof).
For the first time in her life the cow noticed the sun setting, and it was glorious.
I loved how well this story weaved together – What starts off as a tale of lost love soon turns much deeper, showing how fate and chance can cause our paths to cross at just the right moment. Not just with the two Jans, but all the supporting characters, too. No matter how large the world may be, everyone in this story seemed to fall together in the right place, the right time. All the interwoven segments of the various animals just seemed to fit so well with the story, too. My heart still breaks for the little quail.
Coming from an area where a lot of my school mates took off on the infamous ‘Gap Year’, Jans blunt descriptions of the ‘vests’ he encounters on his travels did make me chuckle. Young, naive travellers all convinced they’re going to find their true selves on some tropical beach as they hand out night club flyers.
Reading through this as Jan and his various companions travel all over the world, it only strengthened my own passion for travel. It came across as such a realistic portrayal of travelling; all the characters you can meet, some nice and some not so much, the highs and lows of exploring but being away from home. It wasn’t some fairytale perfect holiday, which made it all the more enjoyable to read. Things go wrong, people get in trouble, relationships fall apart and fall together again.
Amongst all the little side stories within this novel, my favourite had to be the tale of Ebba and Olivia. I won’t spoil it here, but I will say it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I can’t wait to see more from Tim Ewins and see what he writes next!
About The Author
Tim Ewins has enjoyed an eight-year stand-up career alongside his accidental career in finance.
He has previously written for DNA Mumbai, had two short stories highly commended and published in Michael Terence Short Story Anthologies, and enjoyed a very brief acting stint (he’s in the film Bronson, somewhere in the background).
He lives with his wife, son and dog in Bristol. We Are Animals is his first novel.