I’m over the moon I have finally got round to reading The Six Loves Of Billy Binns after I had the privilege of meeting Richard Lumsden at the recent New Voices even in Edinburgh. My beautiful copy was signed and gifted and I had a lovely chat with Richard about Billy and how the book came about. BIlly Binns was started a few years ago before he was put away but I’m Very grateful Richard decided to approach it again as it is a beautifully written debut novel.
We start the book meeting BIlly who is the great age of 117 and has received his card from the queen . Billy now resides in a care home , memories come back to him in dribsand drabs with some memories more clearer than others, while Billy is remembering bits of his history he decides to get it all out on paper , really it’s to leave behind a memoir. Putting pen to paper can be hard work and time consuming and Billy is not very good with the keyboard for the computer , one of the careers in the home gives him a loan of an old typewriter and the vision of Billy sitting at his typewriter was a rather sweet moment.The bond Billy has with some of the staff in the care home is beautiful and rather touching.
Billy wants one thing the most from his memories and that’s to remember what love feels like one last time. Billy could have such a different life if he had done things a bit differently and made different choices but then who hasn’t made the wrong choices in their life.Billy led such a remarkable life and his memories on ww1 are heartbreaking to say the least . We learn all about Billy’s childhood and we see a glimpse of what life in the care home is like. I felt Richard really hit the nail on the head there as it reminded me of old shifts at work in the home. We do come across a few twists in this book and some did have me going oh no Billy please don’t do that . A few times throughout this book I felt myself reaching for the tissues.
Richard took me on an emotional journey with Billy Binns, it’s safe to say wee Billy has entered my heart and has stayed long after I put the book down, it’s one to reread again.
Beautifully written, emotional roller coaster of a read .
Richard Lumsden has blown me away with his debut novel and I hope it’s not the last that will come from him.
5***** fully deserved five stars from me.