Lily Poole - a review by Tony Cook

Lily Poole is the first novel by ABCtales Editor Jack O’Donnell, better known here as celticman. Many of us may be accustomed to his writing but prepare to be surprised. Lily Poole is a two gears up from anything he has written beforehand. It has wit, style, surprise, insight into the human character, extraordinary description of life on the seamy side of Glasgow and a writing style that delights.

The book begins with our hero,  John, coming across a young girl in the snow. He helps her across the treacherous icy surface to school – but it very quickly becomes apparent that he is the only person who can see her.

The plot then twists and turns, revealing, confusing and delighting as it unfolds. An extraordinary cast of characters come out of the pages. His constant references to smell bring out the inner beings. His description of the flats, houses and streets in which his characters live paint a picture in the mind that will stay with you for a long time.

This is a book about mental health, the power of self belief, the love of family and the cruelty of the both the crowd and the establishment.  It is writing of the highest standard and a story that will inform, shock and intrigue you. I cannot commend this book more highly to you. That is not because I am the Editor of ABCtales, it is because it is an exceptional novel.

You can order a copy here:


cheers Tony, good blog, I''ve read the book too and everything you say has merit. 


Thanks Tony for the review - I've just purchased my kindle edition via Amazon Australia.  Love the cover design.  I've also pinned this to one of my writing boards on Pinterest and will tweet.  Anything by celticman has to be an excellent read, so I am looking forward to it.  When finished I'll do a review on my blog too.