Roger Hyams’ debut novel The Lightman System went on an Instagram book tour thanks to @instabooktours.
Those reviewing the book found it a fabulous read. The tour began on July 19 and ran until August 5.
We have gathered the thoughts of the bloggers right here and suggest you follow all of them, along with @instabooktours.
Buy The Lightman System at https://wreckingballpress.com/product/the-lightman-system/
“This beautifully written novel explores mental health & the impact it has both on the individual & their families.” – @instabooktours
“What a read! Superbly written with amazing insight into mental health and its often devastating consequences, not just for those suffering but for those around them too.
“I very quickly became fully engrossed in this character driven story of Ellie and her brother Colin as well as supporting characters. As the story unfolds it looks closely at the dynamics of a family struggling to cope with the psychological and emotional breakdown of one of their own.
“Poignant and heart breaking The Lightman System is a fabulous read and will speak to anyone who has had similar experiences.
“I will definitely be recommending this one and look forward to seeing what comes next for Roger Hyams.” – @dems_book_den (19/07/22)
“The author conjures up a wonderful sense of time and place. I did not usually like books that deal with mental health as I find them either patronising or just without much understanding. This book is different. Roger Hyams deals sensitively and with great insight into the effects of mental health issues, not only on the sufferer but on the wider family.
“The author also manages to illustrate the complexities of family relationships, particularly those between siblings. The author has a deft touch and draws his readers into the story and makes them care about the characters. A beautifully written novel that I would highly recommend.” – @book_mouse2020 (20/07/22)
Now I know I’m meant to be reviewing this book today, however, I have not been able to finish it in time. I am however most of the way through so I can give you my thoughts so far.
Now this book so far is brilliant. Books that touch on mental health can usually be hit or miss but this one touches on it perfectly. I really like the writing style and it’s been so easy to get into.
I don’t want to speak too soon but so far it’s on track to be a 4/5 read! – @chloejreads (21/07/22)
I enjoyed this book despite having very heavy subject matter surrounding mental health. It did take me a little while to get used to the story flicking between Ellie and Colin, bit once I got used to the writing style this wasn’t a problem.
I liked the fact the author used key actions for headings rather than typical chapters. – @Felicitys_reading_corner (22/07/22)
“One thing about this read is that it really thrives on the relationships built into the pages. Although events can seem peculiar there’s a lot of detail given and the writing is absolutely beautiful. You get a lot from the senses with this so you can really imagine what the characters see, touch, feel etc. I loved that the book was split into parts and I love that the time frame with this was set in 1974.
“The twist it has on romantic relationships is wonderful because you get two complete different perspectives. Let along a brother and sister falling in love for the same girl. The concept was beautiful. There’s so much passion and desire in this. It’s wonderful, literally reading about all of the similarities yet all of the differences at the same time especially between the siblings. The author really gives you a spectacularly formatted entangled read. I wasn’t expecting the paths to completely change direction and I didn’t know how to deal with it until I continued to further read. The growth continued with emotions constantly changing directions making this a completely addictive read.
“I would definitely recommend this it’s an extremely unusual plot for the timeframe. Epic.” – @twilight_reader (25/07/22)
“I really enjoyed the book as it was slow paced and easy to follow. It’s a very well written book. The characters have a lot of struggles which had me engrossed in reading to see how they were or if they could overcome them. It’s a very twisty romantic story with wonderful perspectives on different relations.
“I would highly recommend this book as it’s a non stop read. ****/5. ” – @louisereading_differentbooks (22/07/22)
“When I started reading this book I was taken aback with all the explicit language. Set in 1974, the story follows Colin and Ellie and their daily adventures. There are different characters in different chapters that build Colin’s character. The school stories are funny and reminded me of the Inbetweeners.
“There isn’t much of a plot or twists it’s a slow paced family drama with a bit of romance. The love life of Ellie and Colin are written very well with good characterisation.
“The era moves to 1999/2000 and how Colin now has his own family. I will be honest I struggled with the book as the story is very slow paced. But I did learn a lot about Jewish family and traditions. It’s also a heartbreaking story of a brother and a sister.” – @pre4books (26/07/22)
“This book dealt with mental health issues in a great way and the downward spiral that became of Eleanor and her brother Colin.
“The book was beautifully written in a way that delicately balanced raw emotion within a family going through mental health issues and devastation, it gave a wonderful insight just how much mental health can affect both the individual and the family.
“The book was slow paced however the pace really helped to capture the relatable characters and emotional issues well.
“However I was left with many questions unanswered at the end,
-why did Anna never go and see Ellie? They were meant to best friends!!!!!
-did Colin get together with Pen?,
-did Ellie ever pick up her Cello again?
-what was the initial cause of Ellies breakdown?
“A brutal family saga, beautifully written, heart wrenching read. 4/5⭐” – @Never_endingbookshelf (25/07/22)
“It had some of my favourite things in literature- a wide timeline, a unique layout with chapter headings and segments, incredibly relatable and vibrant characters and a slow build. When a story deals with mental health or emotional issues, I like the pace and engagement between characters to slow to allow the issues space to breathe. Hyams does this incredibly well.
“Another particular strength this novel has is in its analysis and breakdown of family roles and relationships. If you’re a fan of family sagas or retellings of family trauma etc, you would also enjoy this novel. The relationships and their breakdowns are brutal but so delicately managed and narrated that the contrast again allows the actions to speak for themselves.
“A very special writer.” – @bookasaurusbex (27/07/22)
“It originally took me a while to get into this novel, the focus on mental health interested me more than the romance aspect.
“I lIked the focus on the family dynamics and how they coped with the breakdown of someone within the family.” – @mrsbookburnee (28/07/22)
“This is a story about a family, their individual facets, and what happens when the thread that’s held them together is unraveled. It’s an overpowering book that captures you and doesn’t let you go. An extremely smart book that stabs you and leaves you bleeding. I could not put it down. I felt that if I closed my eyes I could almost hear the authors voice in each written word.
“From the very first moment on meeting Ellie I got the sense something wasn’t quite right. Like the feeling of watching a tightrope walker…wondering if the next step will be the last. Breath held and anticipating the worst. I really felt for Ellie as she had no control over her life. It was as if I, the reader, was watching a car crash in slow motion. It was utterly heartbreaking.
“Colin suffered in his own right. Seeming lost within the life of Ellie. Sadly, we miss out on his life…but, I feel that also parallels how he lived. Second to Ellie’s mental issues…the family dynamic with his parents was strained. And, because of this and other factors he never truly lived.” – @stratospherekawaiigirl (29/07/22)
“Initially set in 1974, Ellie and her brother Colin are on holiday with their parents and both fall in love with confident, popular Anna. Ellie and Anna are both part of the National Youth Orchestra, Ellie playing the cello and Anna the violin, and are excited to go on tour to Paris. But Ellie is disappointed when the closeness they found on holiday doesn’t continue on the trip. As Ellie navigates her way around meeting new people and finding her place, Colin at home finds an interest in photography. The future is looking good for both of them until Ellie’s mental health changes everything for the family on her return home.
“The book deals with mental health so beautifully and gives a real insight into how it affects not just the sufferer but the whole family dynamic.
“I loved the relationship between siblings Ellie and Col, it reminded me of growing up with my brother. The delicate balance of getting along / winding each other up!
“I would love to know what inspired the cover of the book as it is so carefully understated it does not reveal anything about the mass of emotions that are in this beautiful book. A brilliant moving debut full of love and compassion.” – @5star.books (29/07/22)
“A very insightful and raw book showing the true nature of mental health breakdowns. I resonated with Ellie to my past, and I really felt for Colin for the way it affected him.
“The book is split up into two parts which showed the first part of the mental breakdown and the lead up to it, and the second part was the aftermath. I just could not put the book down.” – @courtney_in_a_book (01/08/22)
“💫 Truly spectacular. It is such a fantastic yet heartbreaking novel about mental health. I do however think this topic is very taboo, but the author has put across this story line so well done and very delicately.
“The characters are so wonderfully written, i thoroughly loved the details, the storytelling, everything about it.
“There was so many emotions through this, from funny, to heartbreaking.
“It is a wonderful book, and I would highly recommend this to everyone.” – @penfoldlayla (01/08/22)
“📚 Don’t let this unassuming cover fool you!! Beautifully written in prose this novel follows the decline of Ellie’s mental health and the effect it has on her family and younger brother Colin. It gives insight into the effects the struggle with mental health can have on the family members aswell. I felt that the writing, in Ellie’s parts of the book especially, really got across the confusion, the emotions and the struggle Ellie was feeling at the time.
A beautiful book 💚” – @craftandbookjunkieni (02/08/22)
“Beneath this unassuming cover, is a bold story waiting to be told. A fever dream tale, patchwork snapshots of the lives of a family as they move through time, people growing apart, together and older in their own ways as the years fade away. The prose style was striking, vivid and kept me in a suspended, unsettling haze throughout.
“The characters were strong, distinct and clearly complex – but personally the jumping, dream-scape style of the story kept me from getting too attached the characters. A very unsettling, non-linear, disjointed style of storytelling means this book is definitely not for everyone, but it’s definitely well-written and will deeply resonate with some readers.
“Delving into the complexity of family, the dangers of obsession and the quiet ways that mental health issues can sneak up and take our lives down without us even noticing. From the first few pages, we know something is looming over the pages, just waiting for the fog to clear and to see things clearly.
“Emotional, impactful and evocative – you will not forget the Lightman siblings any time soon.” – @frombethanysbookshelf (02/08/22)
“I really loved this book. It made me uncomfortable and ripped my heart out in places but that’s why I loved it. I commend the author for writing about mental illness in such a raw and honest way, showing the reality of having a family member and going through manic depression. I personally would have liked more insight into Ellie’s time in hospital. I found Colin to be a hard character to pinpoint. I felt empathy for him however I also found at times he could be selfish. However justified he may have been and I could understand his strive to want to have a life of his own I did find his view of his sister hard to reconcile with at times. This is a great novel and one I would recommend to someone wanting to get their teeth into a powerful and thought provoking read.” – @Chapmanschaptersandpages (04/08/22)
“It’s the summer holidays so naturally I’m at Champneys living my best spa life.
“Today I’ve been devouring The Lightman System by Roger Hyams. I was soooo excited to read this as EVERYONE has been raving about it and they totally should have been – it’s amazing.
“I adored the setting of 1974 England, having played the cello as a child I could completely relate to Ellie’s childhood and I admired the difficult family dynamic and tact shown when describing Ellie and Collins relationship as siblings.
“The book is beautifully written and completely sucked me in. It’s both heart breaking and fabulous.
“I am usually a sucker for a good cover and typically would not have picked this book up based purely on this but there is so much to this book and it’s a stunning debut novel.” – @girls_who_hike_and_read (05/08/22)
“The Lightman System is a beautiful book which you definitely need to take your time over and couldn’t devour in one sitting. The intricacies of the relationships made this book absolutely gorgeous.
“I wasn’t immediately drawn to the book by the cover but as soon as I read on the synopsis that a brother and sister fall for the same girl, I knew I had to read it, and I didn’t bother reading the rest of the synopsis. There is something so innocent about the characters and I really enjoyed the story; a great exploration of mental health.” – @Duckfacekim09 (05/08/22)
Buy The Lightman System at https://wreckingballpress.com/product/the-lightman-system/