Our Christmas Wish: Book Review – Sam’s Journey by Irene Jones

This week has seen warm, crisp autumn days, perfect for walks among the golden leaf trees and the carpeted pathways they fill at this time of year.  This year I have appreciated autumn and the changing colours, more than previous years.  I have taken the time to stop and look, watching the colour of the trees and the surrounding mountains changing slowly.  So many different colours to describe.  It is so easy when days are incredibly busy, and your local area is full of mountains and woods to forget how fortunate we are to live in such an incredible area.

I wondered what had changed this year for me, what had made me stop and look – what was so different from previous years?   The answer, “Sams’s Journey” by Irene Jones.

A heartwarming and courageous tale of Sam’s Journey from “Lost Soul”, to a beloved family dog and the fight to save a local ancient wood.

Sam’s Journey is the story of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to protect the environment.  The story is told from the perspective of Sam, a beloved family dog whose start in life is anything but humane, the narrative bears witness to a tragic moment in local history when 3,000 trees, many of them ancient oaks and the habitats of dormice, bats and buzzards, were cleared to make way for a road.  Poignant and elegantly told, Sam’s journey is full of courage and tenderness; a fitting elegy for the trees and testimony to the hope and humanity even when tragedy strikes.
Our Review

We can only start our review with our Christmas wish for 2017, we would love for Sam’s Journey to be in every home this Christmas.  The story of his journey is incredibly heartwarming, full of courage and compassion.  It is without a doubt a hidden gem.

Sam is a Labrador and shares his journey with us through his own eyes. We learn early in his journey he is very much a lost soul, abandoned in a local park.  He is struggling to recollect his past life and is subject to much torment at the park. All is not lost, when Sam meets Hilda, who takes him home until they can locate a suitable future home for him.  It isn’t long until Sam is introduced to Rene and Allen and he settles into his new family home, a home filled with love and tenderness.  Sam quickly settles in his new home and his daily walks with Allen and Rene through the local ancient woods – known as St Davids Wood.

Through those walks, Sam meets many members of the community, and enjoys the freedom of running through the fields and trees.  He learns of, and describes to us, the spirit of the woods and it’s inhabitants. It is Sam’s descriptions of the woods, that has made me stop and absorb my local surroundings this autumn.  Reigniting, my love for autumn walks when the air is crisp, trees rustling and the birds circling overhead, preparing to hibernate.  Not forgetting, the family of buzzards who have taken up residence in the forestry.
Through Sam’s Journey we learn of the threat of the destruction of the ancient wood to build a bypass, and the disregard of the area, it’s history and inhabitants.  What follows is a heartfelt tale of Sam’s family and community fighting relentlessly to save the woods and it’s inhabitants.   We follow the journey through Sam’s eyes, a journey which shows two extreme sides to the human race – destruction versus compassion.  We learn of the campaigns defeat, but the continued support and defiance of Sam’s family and the local community to do everything they can.
I have read Sam’s Journey several times, each time I am compelled to absorb my surroundings, live in the moment and enjoy our local forestry.  So many of us take these things for granted – me included.  Sam’s tale has changed this….
We started our review, with our Christmas wish for 2017… we would love nothing more for our wish to become a reality.  Sam’s story has touched the hearts of many adults and children alike, and has potential to touch so many more….

Irene Jones is a mother, grandmother and environmental and animal rights activist.  This is her first book.  She was born in London and evacuated to Bargoed during World War Two.  She is married to Allen and was instrumental in the battle to save St David’s Wood.

Publication Availability

Sam’s story has touched the hearts of many adults and children alike, “Sam’s Journey is currently available for purchase in paperback hereDonations from the sale of Sams Journey are made to many of the authors favorite charities.

Serendipity Loves x


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