Drift Stumble Fall by M Jonathan Lee – Book Review

Drift Stumble Fall by M Jonathan Lee – Book Review

Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee

Drift Stumble Fall

Author – M Jonathan Lee
Publisher – Hideaway Fall
Pages – 324
Released – 28th February 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-0995492349
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Clive
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Post contains affiliate links.


Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richard’s existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other people’s lives are not always what they seem.

New one review witch 2017

According to the Missing People charity one in every five hundred of the UK’s adults go missing every year. The reasons are varied but in many cases their families will never hear from them again.

In Drift Stumble Fall M. Jonathan Lee studies just two of these aspects in what is initially a simple story of a week of suburban domesticity featuring two middle class homes.  On the one hand we have Richard giving us his narrative of how he plans to change his life from what he views as a humdrum personal prison, trapping him forever in a world that he is desperate to escape.

The second story features his elderly neighbours who, in Richard’s eyes, have all the peace and contentment that he craves.

Richard’s story is told in the first person, enabling us to get into his head and to understand his justification for considering the destruction of a family life that many would aspire to. Outwardly those nearest to him see nothing unusual except for the occasional odd moment. I was frequently tempted to shout at him to accept help by talking to talk to those he loved but sadly when people are as mentally confused as him they do not always see reason, regardless of how calm they may appear from the outside.

Despite the potential darkness of the situation M. Jonathan Lee tells his story in a light-hearted manner, easy to read and with great humour which varied from pure slapstick to subtle thoughts in his times of isolation. Look out for the morning after the pub night comments.

The author is clearly a good reader of character as all protagonists were convincing, no doubt drawn from traits of family and acquaintances.

Drift Stumble Fall is an enjoyable yet meaningful read. I have awarded the full five stars.

Reviewed by Clive

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About the Author

M Jonathan Lee

M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author who was born Yorkshire where he still lives today with his wife, children and dog, Alfie.

His debut novel, The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012. He has spoken in schools, colleges, prisons and universities about creative writing and storytelling and appeared at various literary festivals including Sheffield’s Off the Shelf and Doncaster’s Turn the Page festival.

His second novel, The Page was released in February 2015.

His much anticipated third novel, A Tiny Feeling of Fear was released in September 2015 and tells the story of a character struggling with mental illness. All profits from this novel are donated to charity to raise awareness of mental health issues. This was accompanied by the short film, Hidden which was directed by Simon Gamble and can be seen here.

In 2016, he signed for boutique publishers, Hideaway Fall and his fourth novel Broken Branches was released in July 2017, winning book of the month in Candis magazine for September.

He is a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness and writes his own column regularly for the Huffington Post. He has recently written for the Big Issue and spoken at length about his own personal struggle on the BBC and Radio Talk Europe.

His fifth book, the critically acclaimed Drift Stumble Fall was released in Spring 2018.

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24 Responses

  1. Jo Linsdell says:

    I like the sounds of this. Great review.

  2. Entertainingly Nerdy says:

    This sounds really good. Glad you liked it :)!

  3. Robin Taylor says:

    Wow! Sounds like a great read!

  4. Tasha says:

    I like the sound of this. It sounds like a case of ‘The grass is always greener’

  5. Fizah Saeed says:

    Sounds great 🙂

  6. jennifer gaarder says:

    Sounds like a good thriller

  7. This sounds different and a book that I could sink into. Great review!

  8. The classic “the grass is always greener” thing — we never really know what’s happening on the other side of the fence, do we? Great review and sounds like an excellent reading choice. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. I’ve read the other book of this author which is the Broken Branches and it was also good. I’m glad you also loved this. I might try this in the future too. Great review!

  10. DJ Sakata says:

    This sounds tasty – I wants it!

  11. Great review!

  12. This sounds good.

  13. Thanks. It’s a lovely book.

  14. It is, thank you.

  15. It certainly is.

  16. It really is a book like that.

  17. Great, I hope you get to read it sometime.

  18. Agree, we never do. Thanks.

  19. I read Broken Branches too. It was a strange, yet intriguing book. Thanks

  20. I hope you get to read it.