The Thinking Tank is a story of love, identity and belonging and is Jae De Wylde’s first novel…
“A highly readable novel, The Thinking Tank has unexpected elements that make it a real page-turner. It treats challenging themes in a sensitive manner but without pulling any punches. Literary but never difficult, think Anita Shreve – maybe also Douglas Kennedy. The dual narrative and mix of locations – between London in the 70s (loved this as it was SO real), Rutland, England in early 2000s and Spain provide rich layers to the plot and subplot and a brilliant twist in the tale gives it extra dimension. I became totally immersed and had to remind myself at one stage that I wasn’t Sarah (one of the main protagonists) and that I was in Costa Coffee not the Costa del Sol! Sarah has RSD, an illness, which means she regularly has to go in a hyperbaric oxygen tank and a bit like The Glass Room in Simon Mauer’s novel of the same name, the tank becomes both a protagonist and catalyst. A great holiday read – or curl up with it in front of the fire. Loved it and recommend it without reservation.” – L. Roswell, author
“The Thinking Tank entangles the past with the present. As Sarah accepts the hope of the physical cure in the Tank, she opens herself to addressing events of the past. I won’t say how – I don’t want to give the plot away – but it twists you around, even when you least expect. Loved the scenes from the 70′s with surprising little details provoking nostalgic moments – I was back there again! The realistic writing also took me places I’ve never been – not always a comfortable ride, as the tale moves relentlessly towards trouble. Difficult themes –but beautifully handled, and with a poignant resolution that leaves you hoping for more. I am normally tentative about reading first-time novels, but any qualms I had were dispelled within a few pages. I loved this book, have never been ‘moved’ to write a review about one before!” – G. King
“The Thinking Tank was an interesting, thought-provoking and rewarding experience. The author lets you imagine that you are in for some easy ‘comfort reading’ and then makes you engage with deeper issues associated with identity, pain and loss. There is an autumnal mood about this novel, a sense of reflecting on the life choices we make and the need to recognise and seize upon the rare opportunities for a second chance.
I liked the device of the two parallel story lines, keeping you guessing what the connection was if any. The time frames and settings were vividly evoked: I could almost taste the wine in the Spanish episodes. Written with authority, humour and emotional integrity, The Thinking Tank is a confident and assured debut novel, a page-turner that will keep you hooked and waiting for the next offering from a new name to remember. – Kalpana