Thursday 28 April 2022

A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney BLOG TOUR @CogitoUKbooks @RKbookpublicist #DianaJanney @RandomTTours #BookExtract


It takes a man of understanding to rebuild a shattered soul, a man with a deep and learned grasp of philosophy and poetry, a man who can nurture and inspire an enquiring mind, a man with the wit and humour to bring the world alive. 

That enigmatic man is Horatio Hennessy. 

His grandson Blue is that shattered soul. 

Following the death of twelve-year-old Blue's parents, his new home is a Finca in the mountains of Mallorca, with the grandfather he has never met before. 

But is Horatio up to the challenge, or is he merely trying, through Blue, to make good his past? 

Gradually a bond evolves between them through a shared love of poetry. 

But when secrets are uncovered, will understanding turn to misunderstanding? 

Will two souls be shattered this time? 

Absorbing, moving, witty and profound, A Man of Understanding is a beautifully-told story of the search for a higher understanding of the self and others, interlaced with poetry, philosophy and love.

A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney was published on 7 April 2022 by Cogito Publishing. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 

Extract from A Man Of Understanding by Diana Janney

Granga calls me Blue, so I suppose that’s my name now. I don’t really see what was wrong with my proper name – Rufus – that my parents had given me when I was born.

“Rufus?” Granga repeated with a frown when I intro- duced myself to him, even though he knew it was my name. “What sort of name is that? You can’t go through life being called Rufus – folk will think you’re soft!”

But I wasn’t soft, and I’d been called Rufus for the last twelve years. I’d even been chosen for the school rugby team at the age of nine.

“Well, I’m not calling you Rufus,” he said as he packed all my suitcases into the back of his old Land Rover at Palma de Mallorca Airport, one on top of the other, until the highest one fell off and wedged itself against a mud-splattered window. “From now on you’ll be Blue.”

“I’ve never heard of a boy called Blue before,” I said, trying not to sound alarmed.

“Neither have I,” he replied, “but it suits you. Blue like cloudless sky on a summer’s day.”

And it was a summer’s day, so I didn’t mind too much after that. I liked summer’s days – they reminded me of my mother and father and our house in England and homemade lemonade and evenings when I’d stayed up late and had supper in the garden.

It only took us forty minutes from the airport to reach Granga’s Finca Vieja in the mountains, but that was because Granga drove way over the speed limit, even on sharp narrow bends going uphill, and there were plenty of those. I didn’t say anything though – he may have been my mother’s father but he was still a stranger to me.

“I like your hat,” I commented when we’d travelled so high that my ears were popping. It was the first time I’d spoken since we’d decided on my name.

“They call it a trilby.” He took his right hand off the gear stick, where it had been until then, and passed his trilby to me. It was dark beige, like a wild mushroom, with a torn lining on the inside and almost worn-away initials in gold – HRH.

“A hat fit for a king,” he said as I put it on and it dropped down over my eyes. But I didn’t move it – I liked its smell and I could hide inside it for a while like my old tortoise Freddy used to do when he wanted to be left alone.

By the time we reached the Finca I’d almost fallen asleep. I say almost because I hadn’t dared to fall asleep altogether, not when I was in a strange country in a strange van, sitting next to a strange grandfather, tucked inside his strange hat and answering to a strange new name.

“Wake up, Blue,” he whispered, lifting the brim of his hat above my half-closed eyes. “Hemos llegado!” I was later to learn that that meant “we’ve arrived” in Spanish, but at the time I thought my Granga was just showing off again. 

We left my cases in the back of the van and Granga opened my door and helped me out with a big wide hand, which he wrapped around mine like a rough glove.

“Come and see where you’ll be living now.” I think the words seemed as curious to him as they were to me, but we both understood how it was to be.

It took a few seconds for me to adjust to the strength of the Mallorcan sunlight. The first thing I noticed was how far into the distance I could see without my eyes resting on a single building. Our only neighbours were trees of differing shapes – some clustered together like extended families, others standing alone in the dusty ground. Far away on the horizon I thought I glimpsed the sea, just a tiny blue hint of it but enough to make me feel calmer inside. 

DIANA JANNEY is the author of the novels The Choice and The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose, which has been translated into four languages (Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese), produced as an audiobook by the BBC, and the film rights were sold to a British film company. 

Formerly she practised as a barrister in London after having qualified as a solicitor at a leading City of London international law firm. 

She read Philosophy at University College, London, where she received a First for her Masters thesis on Kant and Hume, and three Scholarships. 

Diana has received international acclaim for her writing, which combines her philosophical knowledge with her wit, poetry and keen observation of human nature

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