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A Funeral for an Owl

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  73 reviews
New Fiction from the award-winning author of Half-Truths and White Lies

What kind of a boy would it take to convince two high school teachers to risk their careers?

Let me tell you what I’m willin’ to do for you. We start a new gang. Very exclusive. You and me.

Times have changed since Jim Stevens chose to teach. Protocol designed to protect children now makes all pupil/teac
...more
Paperback, 1, 410 pages
Published November 3rd 2013 by Createspace (first published December 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  620 ratings  ·  73 reviews


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Karen Begg
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have been priviliged to receive an early edition of Jane's latest book 'A Funeral for an Owl.' I have to say that I found it a very good read, just like her other books.

Jane has a way of writing that sucks you in to the book, feeling for the characters involved and this has definitely not been lost in this book. Your emotions are turned this way and that. Things do not always turn out the way you expect.

There are 4 main characters, Jim, Ayisha, Aimee and Shamayal. The first two are teachers, t
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Compulsion Reads
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
When a fight starts on school grounds, teacher Ayisha Emmanuel is grateful to see her colleague, Jim Stevens, heading over to break it up. She assumes that he will get the situation under control, and she’ll just need to offer morale support.

If only. When Ayisha makes it to the ring of students, she discovers that Jim has been stabbed. Assisted by one of the students, Shamayal, Ayisha works to save Jim’s life.

The stabbing of Jim Stevens starts Funeral for an Owl, but it is not the beginning of t
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Chantelle Atkins
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Having previously read another novel by this author, I was keen to read more and A Funeral For An Owl did not disappoint. In fact, it ticked so many boxes for me as a reader that I instantly pre-ordered the author's new book which is out in the Spring, and I will be working my way through her backlist without a doubt. The plot of this book revolves around Jim, a history teacher who is stabbed while trying to protect a pupil at school, his colleague Ayisha who witnesses the attack, and Shamayal, ...more
Liza Perrat
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A Funeral for an Owl is a multi-layered story that hooks you from the beginning, and which you don’t want to end.

The author gradually develops the four main characters––Jim, Ayisha, Aimee and Shamayal––to reveal well-crafted detail of each of their lives.

We first meet Jim in the present day, as a school teacher who is stabbed whilst trying to break up a schoolyard fight. Jim watches out, and risks his job, for Shamayal, a pupil who has a difficult home life. And another teacher, Ayisha––a stickl
...more
Bookmuseuk
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Funeral for an Owl is a multi-layered story that hooks you from the beginning, and which you don’t want to end.

The author gradually develops the four main characters––Jim, Ayisha, Aimee and Shamayal––to reveal well-crafted detail of each of their lives.

We first meet Jim in the present day, as a school teacher who is stabbed whilst trying to break up a schoolyard fight. Jim watches out, and risks his job, for Shamayal, a pupil who has a difficult home life. And another teacher, Ayisha––a stickl
...more
Nancy Freund
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book, start to finish. Jane Davis has skilfully woven together past and present, multiple points of view, and a deep interior understanding of several very different characters (both male and female, black-brown-white, young, old, and in-between), whose lives intersect as a result of trauma. She trickles in essential backstory so it's as welcome as the modern story arc, which remains foremost throughout. She writes pain -- both physical and emotional -- with an exquisite reality. Lon ...more
Kathleen
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books, fiction
A Funeral for an Owl is the first book authored by Jane Davis that I have read. I most certainly want to read any other books written by her. This book was a "page turner" right from the beginning and I could not wait to finish it, but at the same time, I did not want it to end. There were several stories expertly woven together.
This book was freely given to me by BookBub and I rated it 5 stars out of 5.
Stacey
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. A terrific story with an ending that did not disappoint. I am reminded of the powerful ending to David Mitchell's 95% lame novel, Ghostwritten. Except that, here, the lovely way that final loose end was tied up came at the end of an engrossing story. It seems to have become fashionable these days to always leave one sad tale left behind like a stain in a cupcake tin. So glad Ms. Davis answered the mystery but left us all to ponder it's meaning.
Lynn
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this story. Probably my favourite of all Jane's work. Partly because it is set in a part of the world that is very familiar to me and made it easy to imagine the scenes. But also because the characters are very well drawn, I also liked the back and forth over time aspect which worked very well in this book. All in all a very good read.

Margarita Morris
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this thought-provoking story by Jane Davis. Weaving together the events of 1992 and 2010, this is a passionate, absorbing story about family, belonging and our relationships with each other. The characters are brilliantly drawn and the writing is rich and textured. A thoroughly satisfying read. One of her best.
Awesome Indies Book Awards
Awesome Indies Book Awards is pleased to include A FUNERAL FOR AN OWL by JANE DAVIS in the library of Awesome Indies' Badge of Approval recipients at http://j.mp/AwesIndBk170

Original Awesome Indies' Assessment (4 stars):

Jane Davis has the insight and sensitivity of a great writer; with a little more refinement, she could be a great writer. This story is about a school teacher accidentally stabbed as he tried to break up a fight at school. As he recovers in hospital, he remembers his childho
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Cleopatra  Pullen
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everything changes for Jim the day he finds a pair of binoculars and picks them up. Kneeling on the back of the sofa looking out over the lamplight night from his London council flat he spots a barn owl. Using his trusty bird book for reference he begins to learn the Latin names for the birds that he spots down by the railway tracks. At the beginning of the summer holidays in 1992 Jim meets a girl near his favourite bird watching spot and the whole course of his life changes.

Set in London this s
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Tracy
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Funeral for an Owl is a beautifully written book. The characters develope slowly, revealing well crafted detail into each person’s life. A very enjoyable read. I was hooked from start to finish.

The book tell a story of a school teacher (Jim) who looks out for a pupil (Shamayal), putting his job on the line in the process. Human nature is to want to help another in need, but to do this sometimes people have to take risks. I wish there was a 'Jim' out there for every person in Shamayal's situati
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Theresa
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Every once in awhile you read a book that really makes you stop and think about the relationships people have with other people or family members that shapes their whole future. I believe that this is one of those books.

Jim Stevens starts out as an eleven year old kid growing up in a not-so-wonderful neighborhood and he tries to stay away from other kids and be by himself to study birds. He and his mother especially like to watch the barn owls. He’s an excellent artist it seems, of birds and o
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Deanna at The Book Lover's Attic
Jane Davis develops well rounded characters along with an intricately woven tale of loss in A Funeral for an Owl. The story flows smoothly while flashing back and forth between the present and the past. The British slang took some getting used to, but was fairly easy to figure out.

I especially liked the relationship between Jim and Shamayal. Jim is risking his job to befriend a student in need. Throughout the book we learn his motivation for doing so and are lead to feel very deeply for both cha
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Barbara Scott-Emmett
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was very impressed by this book. It's the first I've read by Jane Davis but I will certainly be seeking out more of her work.

Other reviewers have outlined the story so I won't go into that again. For me, the beauty of the book is in the language and in the way it is told. The author holds a microscope (or a pair of binoculars) up to life and describes it in all its detail. There are flashes of brilliance in the descriptions of ordinary events, and acute insights into mundane actions.

The char
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Julie Whitley
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In reading A Funeral for an Owl, I did something I haven't done in a long time...read into the wee hours because I just couldn't put the book down.

The story opens with the stabbing of a teacher and weaves together the teacher's past and present with that of his student, Shamayal, and his colleague, Aiyisha. I found myself immersed in each of their story threads that together produced a whole cloth blended together to perfection.

I could give a fuller synopsis of Ms Davis' beautifully written and
...more
Julie  Whitley
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In reading A Funeral for an Owl, I did something I haven't done in a long time...read into the wee hours because I just couldn't put the book down.
The story opens with the stabbing of a teacher and weaves together the teacher's past and present with that of his student, Shamayal, and his colleague, Aiyisha. I found myself immersed in each of their story threads that together produced a whole cloth blended together to perfection.
I could give a fuller synopsis of Ms Davis' beautifully written and
...more
B.A. Steadman
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Jane Davis offered this as a free download, so I gave it a go, and I'm glad I did. I warmed instantly to the two main characters, teachers Jim and Ayisha, but the one that stole my heart was Shamayal. It's a story told in the present as both teachers come to terms with a terrible incident, and in the past, where Jim tells his story to Shamayal and Ayisha. Davis is at her strongest with character and dialogue. Her characters are rounded and believable. I enjoyed the 'Bins' subplot and the humanit ...more
Jennifer
Difficult to read, but unable to put down

Although the writing and grammar are difficult to read at times, the story is touching. Most of the characters are well-rounded. I love hearing different voices narrate the story, at different points in time. Jim & Ayisha are teachers in a rough school in London. They get themselves involved with a troubled boy, and all struggle to do the right thing - whatever that may be. It shows how our impressions of people may not be who they really are. We choose t
...more
Debbie Henderson
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
A story with a part and a present, Jim a history teacher is severely injured during a fight in the school grounds on the last day of term.

The book has many layers and delves deep into Kim's story, his relationships with his mother and family, his childhood friend Aimee, his current relationship with a colleague and also with a young boy at his school.

A fabulous read with many twists and turns. Some that seem natural, many that keep you guessing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recomme
...more
Chrissy
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jane Davis confronts the issues young teens in London are faced with everyday in this book. Gangs, violence, poverty. addictions and runaways make up the day to day life of the characters. Jim, the younger brother of a troubled teenager, Aimee, a girl from the other side of the tracks who has secrets of her own, and Shamayas, an only child abandoned by his mother and left to defend himself against the gangs in the estate. This novel follows these and other characters after a knife attack puts a ...more
Jennifer
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although the writing and grammar are difficult to read at times, the story is touching. Most of the characters are well-rounded. I love hearing different voices narrate the story, at different points in time. Jim & Ayisha are teachers in a rough school in London. They get themselves involved with a troubled boy, and all struggle to do the right thing - whatever that may be. It shows how our impressions of people may not be who they really are. We choose to hide what we don't want others to see, ...more
Liesbeth
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dont you just live a book which has you gripped from the first sentence? That's what happens to me here.
Something about the writing just captured my total attention. On page 1 Jim, a history teacher, accidentally gets stabbed at the playground whilst Alishiya, another teacher , doesn't quite know how to handle the situation. Throw a complex teenager in the mix, and let the story unfold itself, with a heavy focus on Jim's past and a special relationship.
Not the sort of book is usually read, but
...more
M.K. Turner
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Funeral for an Owl – Jane Davies 5*****
I found this to be an engaging read, and had total sympathy with Jim Stevens, a history teacher trying to deal with his troubled past and his present predicament having been stabbed trying to break up a playground fight. Some great characterisation, I particularly liked Bins, Ayisha irritated, and I had total empathy with Shamayal. The story spans twenty years of Jim’s life, slipping from past to present, and I was delighted that there wasn’t a neat and t
...more
Jessica H
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting story, good solid characters and I like how the author goes back and forth between past and present. My only complaint with this book is that there are apparently some issues with the formatting of the electronic book. There are a few places where there definitely should have been a break of some sort - an extra line of space or a symbol or something - to show that there is a scene change. This was missing in a few places, so it is confusing to read. Aside from that, great book.
Jayne Gordon
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really hate it when I am reading a book I am thoroughly enjoying--quickly approaching the end about which I am clueless because it could go in so many different directions--and then the darn book ends abruptly, with no real sense of closure. Was the author planning a sequel? Did she run out of time for a proper ending? Was it always her intention to end the book the way she did? Very frustrating.
Lynn
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this story. Probably my favourite of all Jane's work. Partly because it is set in a part of the world that is very familiar to me and made it easy to imagine the scenes. But also because the characters are very well drawn, I also liked the back and forth over time aspect which worked very well in this book. All in all a very good read.
Teresa
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I read about the book I thought it would be very far out of my comfort zone but I knew from page one that this was going to be a great read.The voices of each character in this multi-layered story were written so convincingly and Jane Davis managed to paint very vivid pictures of the scenes with a few strokes of her pen - always the sign of an intelligent writer. One to highly recommend.
Meg
Jul 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jane Davis is the author of nine thought-provoking novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as ‘A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.’ The Bookseller called her 'One to Watch.' She has since published six further novels, These Fragile Things, I ...more

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