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337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby. Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realizing the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.
Reflecting on life and love, 337 by M Jonathan Lee is a masterfully penned family-orientated mystery. Original, somewhat witty and extremely emotive, I just couldn’t put this book down!
Drama of the highest caliber unfolds as soon as we start reading Sam’s story. The descriptive opening of a family picnic depicts a normal happy family. Yet, the Darte family is far from normal and as removed from happy as you can get. The topic of death and loss may not sound appealing, and yet the journey we travel with Sam completely draws us in until we’re desperate to know the truth about Sam’s mother and what really happened to her. More importantly, I was on tender hooks to find out whether upon receipt of this knowledge Sam could begin to live. You see we find him at a time when he is basically hiding away from the world, to the extent he even works from home and his wife has left him. The traumatic effects of his younger years, has thrown a web of melancholy over him, which he wears like a favorite coat. Surprisingly, it is his dying, estranged Granma Joan, who finally reaches in to pull on the thread which will start his unraveling. Joan is skillfully and perfectly captured by the pen, so much so, that I felt like I was there. I have to say I found the ending awesome! And I am sure the memory of Sam listening to his mother singing in the kitchen will stay with me a long time.
M Jonathan Lee is certainly a master craftsman. In 337, he has composed a realistic, gripping thriller and family suspense, with a poetical feel to the writing and an excellent pace. With prose as smooth as molasses 337 by M Jonathan Lee comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book reviewed by TN Traynor for Chick Lit Café.