Thirty Seconds Before Midnight by Helen J Beal


Every life means something to someone, somewhere.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was given to me by the author.  I would first like to thank her for sharing her story with me.

Helen’s retold story of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is given through the eyes of a land tortoise, Herbert, whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands. He was born and raised in a menagerie in England, at the estate of Bestwood. His entire life is circumscribed by the mundane routine of the small zoo and he had never wandered beyond the Wall.

Things change when the owner of Bestwood sells the estate to Dave Palmer, a rock and roll star. His strange family, including a pair of twin sons and a Brazilian model wife move in and upset the routine of the menagerie and the zookeeper Bob and his daughter Stella.

Most of the story is told through the eyes of Herbert, the tortoise, aided by his able spy, Digby, the parakeet who can fly and hide in trees to observe human activities.  These parts made me laugh the most, Herbert was always relying on Digby for the latest news!

Changes are afoot for the residents of Bestwood, and not for the best. Midway through the story, on the best and worst day of Herbert’s life, tragedy strikes.  What could be the best day for a tortoise? You will have to read the story to find out!

That said, I think the author is absolutely brilliant in the voice of Herbert, his apt descriptions and wry observations, and the emotions he, as a tortoise, can feel while still thinking rationally. He very quickly became my favorite character. It also made me think, that if I had a tortoise, I sure do hope he would be as loving as Herbert.

Although this story does end in slight tragedy, it is well worth the read.  I found so much in the story that just the tale being told.

Keep an eye out, as I will being doing an interview with the author! 😀

Check out her book:

One thought on “Thirty Seconds Before Midnight by Helen J Beal

  1. Pingback: Win an E-Book copy of “Thirty Seconds Before Midnight” By Helen J. Beal – This is a ONE DAY GIVEAWAY! | A Simple Taste for Reading

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