The Birthday Gift is a novel that sweeps through issues of love, of hope, of sorrow and of destiny. It spans across Europe, from Cornwall to London to France to Germany and then to Poland.
The book is a gripping combination of thriller and romance, revolving around the painting central to the book which featured heavily in the recent Hollywood blockbuster, The Monuments Men, written and directed by George Clooney.
Anthony Scott released his first book through Matador, On Ashover Hill, 2 years ago to much acclaim. He splits his time between the East Midlands, the North East and Cornwall where he draws his inspiration to write both his books, his blogs and his poetry.
Anthony also runs a financial advice boutique called Fiducia that works with clients across the UK
PUBLISHED 28th November 2014
£9.99 paperback £2.99 ebook
ISBN 9781784620103 paperback 9781784628017 ebook
'On Ashover Hill' by Anthony Scott was not quite the book that I had thought it would be. However, that does not detract from it in any way. I had thought that it was going to be a love story, and indeed it is, but so much more. It is the story (at first) of William McTeer, a soldier in World War II who was stationed in Naples. He meets a girl, Francesca, and is captivated instantly. He goes back to find her after the war, only to discover that her home has been bombed, and that her whereabouts are unknown. He is devastated. However, they manage to find each other, and eventually marry and have a son, Robert.
Robert's story then takes over, with William and Francesca's story in the background. The story then moves on and is taken over by Robert's son, Taylor.
I liked the storyline very much, and loved the way that William and Francesca found each other, and lived their own personal love story. I loved the description of Naples and Florence, the sun and the beauty. I didn't like Robert at all. He is an entirely unlikeable character, driven, ambitious, deceitful and cruel. He is not the child that I would have expected to be the fruit of the great love between William and Francesca. However, he is a very vital part of the story. Taylor is altogether different from his father, just as Robert was different from William. There is so much in this book, but behind it all, running right through the story is this amazing love affair between William and Francesca, which shines throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and happily recommend it.
This book is amazing,it is written in chapters that span time from the past to the future. Each chapter is told from one of the characters view point. The characters are all so real that I really believed in them. There is William McTeer who meets and falls in love with the beautiful Italian Francesca. Their love story is beautiful,but not sickly soppy. There is their son Robert; who becomes the main character in the book. His best friend Angus, Robert's children Jasmine and Taylor also have chapters to tell the story.
I will not disclose the plot,as this book needs to be read and enjoyed and I will only say that I was so shocked when I read the last two lines. I was so not expecting it. PLEASE DON'T READ THE LAST 2 LINES UNTIL YOU GET THERE.
If there were 6 stars this would get it. I loved every single word.
by Mrs. T. Salmon
The writing style of `On Ashover Hill' is set by an engaging opening chapter which then appears of little relevance to the main plot. This is based on family relationships and differing values over a period of time, but author Anthony Scott deliberately omits key actions and episodes as he cleverly leaves intriguing gaps in his narrative for readers to fill in the blanks. A major character is Robert as arrogant, greedy and ruthless, yet also charismatic. His most murky and shocking deeds are not described but readers are made uncomfortable by concealed collusion and conspiracy. It may be expected this would create a disjointed story, but interwoven with Robert are his parents, children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues to both admire and despise as the author introduces conflicting concepts of good and evil, love and hate, benevolence and materialism, respect and contempt, forgiveness and blame etc. `On Ashover Hill' is essentially a love story, but it disguises dark undercurrents and gives readers much to ponder on. Yes - the opening chapter is valid.
by D. Elliott
I enjoyed this book which started with William and Francesca meeting in war torn Naples and finishes in the future, 2046. In between you see Robert, the son they have growing up in Edinburgh who turns his back on his parents values and lives by greed and a disregard for all other. Woven throughout is the family of Angus, Roberts boyhood friend and a solicitor who looks after Robert's business interests and who suspects but doesn't know for sure just how murky Robert's business dealings are.
As it goes backwards and forwards the lives of the main characters become more and more intertwined. At times it was very much a tear jerker,I admit to having a little weep! Having said all that, it is a bit disjointed in places and has a strange and shocking ending. Not a masterpiece but well worth reading.
by Mrs. C. A. Troops
Not my usual sort of book but I was intrigued with the fact it started in the future. I got caught up in the family's lives as the story unfolded through the years. I didn't want the story to end but when it did, it quite shocked me. A must read in my opinion.
Anthony Scott is the director of a financial services company. He is also a writer and the lead singer and songwriter in an indie-rock band. Anthony is a father, a lover, a poet, and a sportsman. His passions include the theatre, books, travel, music and his cat.