Lonny is a lifeling. He has the power to heal any living creature and bring it back from the dead. But he pays a price for this gift – by lengthening the creature’s life, he shortens his own. So Lonny has to be careful, has to stay hidden in the forest. Because if people knew what he could do, Lonny would be left with no life at all…
A brilliant novel from the author of The Middler about family, secrets and a terrible power.
"A modern day fairytale with a unique voice and fantastic folkloric premise." - Peter Bunzl, author of Cogheart
"This gripping tale will have you frantically reading on, desperate to find out what is coming next." - Dean Boddington, Mister Bodd (blog)
"I still can't stop thinking about how wonderful Lonny Quicke is! Beautiful and folklorish and poignant" - Maria Kuzniar, author
"A page turner with a unique & intriguing premise, all leading to a BIG decision ... making you wonder, ‘what would I do?’" - Julie Pike, author
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
Applebaum is fast becoming the master of unusual, pithy, accessible and thought-provoking middle grade fiction and The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke is another of her powerful standalone wonders. The premise of the book, which is established from the very first scene, is that Lonny is a Lifeling, a person who can give some of their life in order to give theirs to someone else. Lonny's father, who has suffered because of this family gift, has hidden Lonny and his brother away in the forest so that the almost inevitable revelation about Lonny's ability doesn't get out. Lonny however feels as though he has no life to speak of, kept away from others and stopped from exploring the world he is desperate to find out more about the world and his Mum, who died when he was very young. The text is full of symbols of time, death and life. The style incorporates a lot of sounds, song and repeated phrases, and the affect of this is that it feels alive with the humming urgency of life and the ever present possibility of death. From the very start of the book you feel alert, as a reader who is experiencing the world from Lonny's point of view, to the very strong presence of death, dying and the cycle of life. It bring a tension to the book that never lets up. I genuinely couldn't put it down until I had finished it. Applebaum deals with the philosophical questions about live and death, about what 'living' really is in a very deft, light manner. It's a thoughtful book without being heavy, mawkish or moralising. I think it will keep children turning pages and then afterwards find themselves thinking about some of the questions that the story quietly asks. It's a short, self-contained, clear, wonder of a book that packs a punch that I think would surprise anyone not already familiar with Applebaum's work. Read it!
The Life and Times of Lonny Quicke Kirsty Applebaum - 2021 “Sometimes you really do have to put time to one side and make the right now the thing that really matters.” - Jess 10 word summary: A fabulous modern day fairytale - my FAVOURITE book this year! When you’re still reading at 1am on a school night because you need to find out what happens, you know it’s an incredible book! As a huge fan of The Middler I couldn’t wait to read this! It’s absolutely incredible… it’s emotional, thought provoking, beautifully written… and, big statement, my favourite book that I’ve read this year! Twelve-year-old Lonny Quicke has an incredible power - he’s a lifeling. He can sense if any creature nearby (a fly, a rabbit or even a person) is about to die and has the ability to cure them and bring them back from the dead. But, each time he does this, he shortens his own life… To keep him safe and stop people finding out about his power, Lonny lives in the forest with his father (a watchmaker), grandfather and younger brother - Midge, near the town of Farstoke. His mother died when Midge was born and all Lonny has left of her is her photo album, showing all the places that she visited (London, Prague, Paris to name a few). Fed up with his life in the forest, he wants to visit those places to but he can’t because, if people found out what he could do, he could end up with no life left… being away from people is his only protection. But, when the family end up with no money for food and his dad won’t get out of bed, Lonny asks Jess - who collects watches from his father - for a job and she takes him and Midge into Farstoke, the town that they have never visited, where they meet her family (and one very sick relative…). There’s a festival going on in Farstoke - a festival to celebrate the story of the lifelings… they lock the gates to the town for 24 hours. No one gets out. No one gets in. Lonny must be careful. Year group: Year 4+ In the classroom: I absolutely adored this book and I think it could open up some philosophical discussions in the classroom about giving life at the cost of your own and the worth of life. The imagery that the language creates is stunning as well, and setting descriptions around the town and the forest. Comparing and contrasting the stories that Lonny’s families have been told and the stories that are told in the town would be amazing as well. *I read an e-version of this book on NetGalley but have also purchased a copy to share with my class - thank you!*
Another beautifully-written thought-provoking read from one of my favourite authors. Her writing is crisp and heartfelt and completely absorbing. Towards the end, I had to consciously remember to stop holding my breath because the story was so gripping! Lonny is just the most glorious character too, unlike any other I've come across. Part of me wants to litter this review with spoilers but I'll resist and stop here. Thank you, Kirsty Applebaum, for making me think. It's what you do in the right now that matters...Beautiful.