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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  57 reviews
337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby. Keen to learn about what really happ ...more
Kindle Edition, 233 pages
Published November 30th 2020 by Hideaway Fall
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like the two previous books by the author I’ve read, Broken Branches and Drift Stumble Fall, 337 is strong on the detail of domestic life – the annual picnic in the park, a Sunday roast dinner – and the dynamics of family relationships. For Samuel, the book’s narrator, his childhood is punctuated by memories of tensions simmering beneath the surface of his grandparents’ and his parents’ marriage which occasionally boil over.

It quickly becomes apparent that Samuel’s life has been overshadowed by
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, mystery
You know those (hopefully) rare moments when your stomach literally drops because one of life’s puzzle pieces is so gargantuan that it obliterates everything and everyone up to this current point? The enormity of one word, one truth, one action, one assumption being so impactful that it defines your whole life? A life that has not really been good, at all. Shattering!

337 is a book that echoes. It sends back waves of its essence long after you’ve finished the book with yet another and another and
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think I have to talk about the book itself before I review it. In the UK we are lucky enough to get a hardback version where it is double-ended. You can start reading on the bright yellow sunshine door, or you can start it on the glum blue cloudy door. Reflecting on the book, I don’t think it matters which one we start the book on, I think it is more how we end. Do we view the ending to a happy one, if so so the yellow door is our route, but do we find the ending bittersweet, well if so please ...more
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
* Many thanks to Hideaway Fall for sending me hardcover copy of this book along with ‘337 Nothing As It Seems’ pack’, in exchange for an honest review. *

337 was well written #contemporary that revolved around Sam and his family and their life after his mother left them. It was about bereavement, loss and pain of abandonment, tragedy, anxiety, hope, finding peace with past, and moving on with life.

Apart from main theme of bereavement, there was layer of domestic abuse and police manipulations. My
Olga Miret
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had never met M. Jonathan Lee before but when I was approached by his publishing company and read a bit more about the new story and its background, I had to give it a go. I thank them for providing me an ARC hardback copy of the book, which I freely chose to review.
I was intrigued because they were insistent on sending me a hardback copy, but once I had it on my hands, I knew why. This is a pretty special book, not only because of the way it is written and the story it contains, but also beca
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
337 by Jonathan M Lee is such an usual book both in its physical form and the way you read it. You'll notice I'm sure from looking at my photo that the way 337 is printed could be read as the author's surname, Lee, if you turn the book upside down. If you turn the book over, you will find the same cover in blue. In fact you start reading the book at one end, then turn it over and continue reading from the other side. (I should mention that this particular feature is only in the hardback version ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read it, love it and talk about it

A beautiful story about Sam, living an (apparently) everyday ordinary life, but is everything as it seems?

25 years ago Sam’s mother left a note and walked out on the family, or was her disappearance more sinister? Now Sam learns that his estranged grandmother is close to dying, so he rushes to her side to see if he can finally discover what happened to his mother.

We follow Sam as he deals with his everyday job, his inability to sleep (brilliantly described!) an
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-publisher
3.5 Stars, bumped for the handling of trauma, addiction, manipulation of childhood memories, and its unflinching look at death and dying in an elderly relative.

M. Jonathan Lee's latest novel 337 is a poignant look at domestic abuse and emotional loss, particularly its effects on two brothers, Sam and Tom. We know from the start of the novel that their mother "left," and in leaving has doomed her two young children with their bullying and emotionally abusive father. Sam, the older child, is the c
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, arc, grief
This was a compulsive read, it took me less than a day to finish it and though I found it kind of depressing in parts I was completely invested in the story and I wanted to find out what had happened.

I have to admit that I didn't get what the upside-down pages were about. I think I started at the wrong end because I read them after finishing the story and actually it looks like you're supposed to start with them. It doesn't seem to make a difference to the story though, I thought maybe there was
Whispering Stories
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed on

Firstly, thank you very much to M Jonathan Lee and his publishers for sending Whispering Stories a hardback copy of 337. That is always a treat but on this occasion it was even more interesting because the rear cover has an inverted copy of the front so the title 337 becomes the author’s surname, LEE. It is also a book that you can read from either end but I’ll leave it to you to purchase it to work out how that happens. (Please note the double-ended ups
Manab J Kalita
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Whoa! That wasn't the end that I was expecting. Simple, sweet, yet brutal. But it's not about the ending that this story is all about. 337 is a good book, a book that deals with the tragedies of broken families. How those who are left; are left to heal alone.

The depiction of that picnic scene early on will tell you what a good storyteller Lee is. It's a perfect summer day only ruined by the moods of the picnickers.

What I loved about this book is the simple, fluid style of M Jonathan Lee. The l
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a2020, my-reviews
"337" by M. Jonathan Lee is, at it's heart, a character study of Sam Darte, a man whose mother disappeared when he was a teenager. Through present-day action and Sam's memories of the past, the author skillfully weaves an elaborate portrait of this individual, and how the past contributed to making him who he is today.

Much of the focus is on relationships....notably Sam's with his mother, father, brother, grandmother, and estranged wife. Each relationship is treated with depth and empathy, and i
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“nothing is as it seems...”

As I journeyed through this book an indescribable emotional ache burrowed its way into my core. It perfectly illustrates the affect of an unresolved past when it bleeds into the present, slowly draining the life out of the future.

The consequences of a singular day, so tragic, so torturous, quietly evolve through the acute observance of life’s little incidences, the ones most people fail to notice, or even care to.

Understandably, such an event couldn’t fail to shake t
Emma Parkinson
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve literally just finished this book and have actual chills. Body be frozen, chills!
This book is so easy to read and very hard to put down. I loved it from start to finish.

“337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens. It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note.
While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursin
Namrata Ganti
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully written novel, the story follows Sam as he goes through the motions of living every day. However, not everything is at it seems, and this is a constant theme running in the background of the plot.

Sam's mother vanished during his teens leaving behind a letter and her rings. We do not know whether she simply decided to leave one day or something more serious happened. In the current day, Sam reconnects with his Grandmother whom he has not seen or spoken to in years. We are introduced
Happy Booker
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
337 is a contemporary fiction written about Samuel Darte, a boy who sadly wakes up to a note and ring from his mother, not knowing where she has disappeared. Only his Grandma knows what happened to his mother, and as the story takes you to 20 years later, Samuel finds himself in search of the truth. Grandma does not have much left of her life, so he has to fasten the pace before losing his one and only chance.

I really enjoyed reading this book as I found it parallel to other novel approaches sto
Sue Graham
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found 377 gripping and read it very quickly. I have read this author's books before and love the way the drama takes place in those interior landscapes where each of us separately live our lives. Sam the main protagonist in the book has been trapped inside a narrow life which he cannot escape because of the trauma of his childhood. When he learns that his Grandma is dying he visits her for the first time in years, hoping she can help him. I love the tenderness that Sam comes to show towards Gr ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've loved every novel by M Jonathan Lee. He takes mundane life and ordinary people, and weaves them into stories and characters that become so gripping and fascinating, you can't leave them alone. In 337 we join Sam, the protagonist, on an emotional roller-coaster of discovery with an unexpected outcome. Highly recommended as always, this author just gets better.
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a clever book this is.

First are the numbers in the title when read upside down actually been the author’s name, but secondly how it is written, you won’t ever get a spoiler from me 

337 had me completely gripped from the start, it did its job, I needed to know what was going to happen next, my mind was in overdrive, I read it in one sitting, I had to. It’s a good job I’m awake most nights anyway as it really did keep me occupied.

M. Jonathan Lee is a very clever writer, I’ve read his work be
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I read it cover to cover in one day, I just had to know what happened and there never seemed a good place to stop! Short, fast chapters and wonderfully written characters. 5/5
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on

337 follows Sam Darte, now in his thirties and living alone in what was his childhood home. He’s an unfortunate character and one that it is easy to sympathise with. His mother vanished when he was a teenager, and his father is in prison having been arrested for her murder. Despite the twenty or so years that have passed since then, it’s clear from the outset that he is still deeply affected by those events, and that he hasn’t yet come to terms with
Ellie Mitchell
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it


When Samuel Darte’s mother walked out on their family, he never forgot. Reports were filed, listing her as missing and Samuel always wondered what really happened to her. Now, years later, he seeks to know the truth. As his grandma lays dying, Samuel hopes to finally piece some answers together.


There were only a few key players in this story, although we mainly just see Samuel’s character. Samuel is the eldest son, the responsible type, always picking up the slack for his fathe
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
337 is a new and thoughtful story by author Jonathan Lee. In the first 16 pages the author seems to randomly zoom in more and more as if watching from the sky and finally selecting one family that draws his attention. It stops at an idyllic scene, a picknick to be more exact of 2 children Sam and Tom, their parents and their grandparents. The following day Sam and Tom’s mother went missing.

The novel is constructed in such a way that you then have to flip the novel over and with a lovely new cove
Julie Morris
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
337 follows the story of, and is narrated by, Samuel Darte. Samuel is a lonely man who lives by himself in his old family home, works a job from home with minimal interaction with the outside world and doesn’t seem to have any friends. Why he ended up in this place is revealed as the book goes on, but it all stems back to the day his mother disappeared when he was a teenager. This is a story of how a single event can cause the lives of a family to completely unravel, and what can bring them back ...more
Karen Cole
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
337 opens with a vivid description of a family picnic; initially there's a dreamlike feeling to the writing which evokes a wistful sense of nostalgia but as the bird's eye view hones in on the Darte family, things gradually become, if not nightmarish, then certainly rather unsettling. This is Samuel Darte's story but just as this scene suggests not all is as it seems, so it is that he may be an unwittingly unreliable narrator whose recollections don't tell the full truth.
M. Jonathan Lee has a ca
Nov 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Read all of my reviews at

3.5 / 5 stars

Hideway Fall publishers contacted me a few months ago with an email teaser about M. Jonathan Lee's intriguing sixth new novel, 337. I get a lot of these requests through my blog contact form. After learning a bit about this book, I allowed the publisher to send me a ARC for review. And I am glad I did. 337 pulls the reader in before even opening the book. I noticed the title was displayed on the cover in a font that mimicked the author's l
Linda Hill
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Samuel’s grand mother is dying.

I had no idea what to expect from 337, but I hadn’t anticipated quite such a wonderful, poetic and beautifully written narrative. I was drawn in from the very first moment as M. Jonathan Lee took me into the story as if I were there visualising it with him in an almost dreamlike state. It’s that blurring of memory, truth and reality that ripples through the book so effectively that had me completely entranced. I found the physical structure of the writing superb to
Nikki Mitchell
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
Rated 3.5 stars on my book review blog--

Samuel Darte has led a relatively normal life, if you consider that his mother disappeared when he was a child, and his father was put away for her murder. Also throw in the part where he and his younger brother Tom had a falling out with their grandmother–the only family they had left. Lonely Sam has led a drifting life ever since, accomplishing nothing. When his father orders Sam to go keep his dying grandmother company, he is fina
Michelle Ryles
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Oh my goodness, this book completely blew me away. The writing is sublime and the story is so powerful and thought-provoking that you can't help but look back over your own choices in life. The book title is also a little quirky, I'm not sure whether it means something particular (I was wondering weeks or months) but if you've ever keyed in 5376616 on your calculator and turned it round to spell giggles, you'll see the magic behind the title.

Before I talk about the story, I have to mention the b
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M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author who was born Yorkshire where he still lives today with twins, James and Annabel.

His debut novel, The Radio was shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2012. He has spoken in schools, colleges, prisons and universities about creative writing and storytelling and appeared at various literary festivals including Sheffield’s Off the Shelf and Doncaster’s Turn

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