Thursday 20 August 2015

Review ~ The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

John Murray

The eponymous Loney of the book’s title is a strange and desolate place filled with ambiguous contrasts and a myriad of unanswered questions.

An uneasy group of Catholic pilgrims head for the remote shrine of Saint Anne on the bleak and windswept Fylde coast. The Moorings is a place where they have stayed before but on this Easter visit the dynamics of the group have been altered and there is an uncomfortable atmosphere which disturbs the shifting balance of those who seek true spiritual comfort.

The Loney is a real slow burner of story, expertly described by an unknown narrator, which allows a unique glimpse into the heart of a fractured family. The narrator seeks to protect his older brother, Hanny, whose mental health problem is the main focus of the pilgrimage and the reason why Hanny’s troubled parents seek a desperate cure for his disability. 

The story is beautifully written and eerily suggestive that something dark and sinister prowls in dark corners, and although the story is set largely in the mid nineteen seventies there is a timeless quality to the narrative which makes the story all the more compelling. Deeply troubling and quite unnerving in places, the story examines the power of spirituality and calls into question the subject of belief and religious fervour.

With more than a hint of the supernatural, this brilliant story conjures perfectly a dark and gloomy place and questions what it truly means to believe in a greater spiritual power.

About the author.

Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. He has had two collections of short stories published by Lime Tree Press. The Loney is his first novel - it was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition.

The Loney is published by John Murray on the 27th August 2015


I read this book as part of the Reading Panel

More reader reviews can be found on the Love Reading Website

My thanks to John Murray and for my copy of this book.



  1. Sounds like a great read, loved your review. And what an absolutely striking cover!

    1. It's a really interesting book Wendy and quite different. Yes, I loved the cover too :)


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