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on 21 December 2012
I first read Ferney about 5 years ago and so this was an eagerly awaited sequel. I had no idea of the direction Long would take, and when I heard the title I thought perhaps it was actually going to be a kind of prequel. It isn't and I'm very glad of that. Without spoiling anything, for me the ending is appropriate, and in its own way satisfying, if a little neat. However I did find the preamble before we get to the meat of the story - the background to the three girls, the archaeological dig that never happened, and therefore was left with no other function than to bring Mike, Gally and Ferney into the same geographic area, was too long for my taste. I also found the characterisation of Gally's mother a bit OTT - it would (for me) have given more depth to the whole situation if she had been a more sympathetic person, troubled in an appropriate way by what she cannot understand. Similarly, I found Ferney's background rather shallow, despite his mother's involvement of the police when he leaves home. Struggled a little with the evidence found on Mike's computer - in terms of what is/isn't physically likely - a lighter touch might have been more convincing, but overall this is a good read and once I got into the real story one I enjoyed. As in the first book I had more sympathy for Mike than for Ferney and the issues for Gally, caught in the middle, are very well portrayed. Appropriate too, that the sequel takes us right back to where Ferney finishes. I still remember the shiver of that last line. I think Gally's desire at the end of this book will likewise remain with me. This is a book that I'm glad I bought.
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on 4 October 2012
I had waited so long to read this sequel to Ferney and now, having finished it, I realise we had to wait in order for the time lines to work.

I was delighted to find that this book has characters from one of James Long's other books, Silence and Sorrows, (which I loved too) and Bobby is also mentioned, but of course the characters I wanted to be reacquainted with were Gally and Ferney.

In The Lives She Left Behind, I think it was Ferney who said he knew little about the history as is documented in history books, his is the history of the people who lived through those times, who knew little of far off wars and Kings and Queens, but what happened in their own corner of the country. I absolutely love the history parts of both books - I find it fascinating to imagine how life would have been then and James Long paints the pictures perfectly. I still find myself thinking how astonishing it much have been and how life changing when clocks were erected and time began to be measured and how the loudest man-made sounds were from the black smith's hammer.

I can't say much more for fear of spoiling it but if you loved Ferney you won't be disappointed.

Thank you Mr Long - I loved it.
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on 18 April 2014
The Lives she left behind- James Long

I read "Ferney" some years ago, and was left wanting the sequel. However, as another reviewer said, it needed the wait to get into real-time mode. The current time-scape was well done- in 20 years time it will still be a good read without too much transient out-of-date slang language, and technology was skilfully represented to take that into account. But that is what these books are about (apart from being good yarns with a good dollop of intense romance thrown in)is the detail of everyday history. No way did I want the story spoiled for me by reading reviews that gave it away, so suffice to say, the ending was sensible, believable, logical and left room for more story. Please. What I liked about the 2 books was that not only do the characters suspend disbelief, but the reader does because Long picks up the arguments and stitches them to the characters and plot so that one thinks- yeah- this could actually happen. I also liked the way that he adapts and develops facts that were limited to facts that are/were current and facts that will be different in the future due to the pushing of the boundaries of knowledge. Ferney(the character) discusses these issues and the reader can look at things from perspectives they have not previously considered.I like the sense of place, and time that the author presents , jumping from one time frame and set of events to another seamlessly. I even like the characters without getting too involved with them. These stories would appeal to many types of reader, especially the sequel, which would suit young adults as well as older people, and although essentially a less-than-boddice-ripping romance,to both genders. I do not want to say any more as I am often guilty of plot- giveaways, and would rather encourage and recommend the books as Good Reads.
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2012
This latest novel by James Long has been eagerly awaited after a gap of several years. 'The Lives She Left Behind' is the sequel to 'Ferney' - the book that took me by surprise all those years ago, and turned me into a James Long fan. It tells the love story of two very ordinary people, with an extraordinary secret. Ferney and Gally have loved each other for many years, through many different lifetimes... Jo Driscoll is a fragile young girl who has a cool relationship with her mother. On a dig with two friends, she meets both Mike Martin a schoolteacher with a painful past, and Luke, a teenage boy who literally crashes the dig. He has discovered the truth about his past lives and he is now looking for his soulmate... however, to find her, he will have to destroy the lives of those around him, who have become accidentally tangled in the web of those past lives. I am not going to say anymore about that, just recommend that you buy it! However, I will say this - James Long may have taken ages to write this sequel, but he has done a masterful job! The characters are finely drawn, the story very simple but incredibly well told. The new characters are fresh and lively, and the older characters (like Mike Martin) are familiar at once - just like going back home. Also, some of the characters from JL's other 'dig' book 'Silence & Shadows' make a brief appearance, which was a nice surprise (Dozer really should have a book to himself, please, Mr Long?) Anyway, I highly recommend this book, it's s thumping good read and I have ordered the HB as well! My only gripe - I had to be content with giving it just five stars...
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on 9 December 2013
I've waited a long time to read the sequel to the beautiful 'Ferney' which I read when it was first issued in paperback, back in the late 1990's and I haven't been disappointed.

Right from the beginning I was back in Pen Selwood with its air of timelessness and rooting for Ferney & Gally to meet up again soon. Many things have changed in our society since the late 1990's when 'Ferney' was written which means Ferney & Gally's present lives become much more complicated than their previous ones. James Long acknowledges this in the book and this brings reality very much into their story.

I think also the great thing about 'The Lives She Left Behind' is that a new reader wouldn't necessarily need to read 'Ferney' first as this book stands alone and Ferney himself in this incarnation is the same Ferney from the original, I know that's how it should be as that is the whole point, but it would be easy to let the original Ferney' s tenacity and insouciance become lost in the current Ferney' s youth and vigour.

The only criticism I have is that I read the book too quickly and I want to be back there with them again!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 January 2015
I bought Fearny a couple of years ago in Gothenburg and started to read the book on the train home. I loved the book and when I found out that a sequel was going to be released, well it made me very happy. The Lives She Left Behind continue the story about Gally and Fearny 16 years after the ending in Fearny and they are now teenagers and destined to seek out each other since neither one of them can live without the other, together they are whole.

The book was a bit slow to read, not as good as Fearny, it was the last 100 pages that I really enjoyed, rest of the book, well sometime I had to force myself to continue reading and that’s never nice. But it’s a good book, and have you read Fearny you really should read the sequel, it closes their story in a very nice way.
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on 8 January 2014
I read Ferney a number of years ago and so I was delighted to be able to read The Lives She Left Behind. Knowing Penselwod, as it appears on the signpost and that a close friend lived there for a short time in a cottage very similar in description to Ferney's gave the story added poignancy. It is a beautiful area and I learnt a lot of its history as I read. Whether you believe in a soul being reborn is unimportant but to truly enjoy the story as a whole it is important to read Ferney first. I would recommend this book to anyone curious about "past lives". It was very moving and ultimately enchanting, I do not wish to say more as it would spoil it but your definitely need to read "FERNEY" first to enjoy this concluding sequel.
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on 26 June 2014
I have enjoyed all James Long/William Davenport's books that I have read. But with Ferney and Gally I feel I have come home. This time they are the right age for each other, which is lovely. The book is many layered with verse, history, real stories and fantasy stories as well as some of the harsh realities and tragedies of today. But the strength of the Gally Ferney story over rides everything. I feel James Long has written this specially for me as I find it totally calming.
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on 6 November 2012
I have read Furney many times over the years and when I saw The Lives She Left Behind, I wondered if it would live up to that beautiful story. Furney is my all time favourite read so I was a little apprehensive but curious to find out how the story continues. There was no need to worry, James Long didn't disapoint. The Lives She Left Behind is a beautiful book which deals with the problems associated with love but also the terrible legacy left by the previous book. I have to take my hat off to James Long, I just love both books and they will continue to give me pleasure as I will read them over and over again.
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on 7 September 2014
Wow, what a super book, it is the sequel to Ferney, but enjoyed it slightly more. Pure escapism, imagine if your lufe was actually like that, that you could recall things that have hapoened over hundreds of years and you shared them with your true love.,,,,,,
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