A Man of Understanding

Diana Janney - writer, novelist, author, UK‘A story of bereavement and a story of healing. This is a well-written and flowing story and the poetry included is elegant…beautiful. The narrative drew me in…a heart-warming tale.’
– LoveReading, Indie Books We Love

‘I was not prepared for how this beautiful and poignant story completely captured my heart and stirred my senses. After being moved like never before from reading the evocative narrative I really struggled to read the last page as the tears in my eyes were distorting my vision. In my opinion, A Man of Understanding should be classed as a modern literary classic. It is stunning.’
– Novel Delights

‘I tell no lie when I say that I shed a tear at the end…for the beauty this work entails and encompasses, and brings together so seamlessly. A melding of word art, emotional turmoil and entwining it with such a firm grasp on existential thoughts and fears. I adored it. I love the art of poetry, and questions of philosophy that burn to be dissected. This is such a wonderful combination of the two, which is only enhanced by the presence of Blue and Horatio. The stripping of persona and relationships to the core of inner essence – soul…Then using core emotions of grief, abandonment, the need to belong and be loved to drive this powerful story to a conclusion, which is in itself once more a beginning or end…Beautiful work.’
– Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog, 5 Stars

‘A novel that is multi layered and created the space for me to mull over the meaning of grief, love and guilt in friendship, and within a family. I have not read a book as philosophical as this for quite some time. Such a poetic novel in every way. I could say I felt almost honoured to read A Man of Understanding, I felt like I shared their journey and even became a little more aware from the feelings and thoughts it brought up. I could say I may have blinked a little tear away too.’
– Sharon Rimmelzwaan, Beyond The Books

‘A witty and heartwarming coming-of-age tale, centered on the inter-generational relationship between a grandfather and the grandson he had never met…Poetic in both content and style…a layered meaning that’ll make you reflect on the meaning of life.’
– Kgiuls Instagram

‘I loved the interaction between grandfather and grandson as they slowly got to know each other. Each helping the other to heal without realising. I loved the small little injection of humour throughout too…The poetry element in this story so beautifully written…Emotional, thought-provoking and a beautiful story of two people bonding slowly and finding their way in life after their loss.’
– Book Reviews for u

‘Granga talks, philosophises, teaches Blue about poetry, good food and Aristotle and the Golden Mean. My favourite part of the book apart from the poems which alone deserve 5 stars, is the part where Blue meets twelve sheep in a field. This book could have been pretentious, snobby and aimed at a reader with an MA in philosophy at least to understand it, let alone appreciate its beauty. But it isn’t. You don’t need to like poetry (though I do) or have read Aristotle or Kant (I haven’t) to love it. It’s just beautiful and it made me cry.’
– Veronika Jordan, Bookchatter@Cookiebiscuit, 5 Stars, Amazon Vine

‘The characters (even minor) are rich, the settings are vivid and the story is riveting.’
– W.D. Hart, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago (Engines of the Soul, Cambridge University Press)

‘It is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read. The words just flow so naturally but there is so much substance behind them. The relationship between Rufus/Blue and his grandfather (Granga) is something truly special and you really feel like you are reading about real people. The story is interspersed with poems written by Granga and Blue and whilst I am really not one for poetry even I could appreciate the beauty and poignancy of these poems. I finished reading the book with tears in my eyes…It’s something really special.’
– Kelly Holland, bookwormblogss

It takes a man of understanding to rebuild a shattered soul: a man with a deep and learned grasp of philosophy and poetry, a man who can nurture and inspire an enquiring mind, a man with the wit and humour to bring the world alive.

That enigmatic man is Horatio Hennessy. His grandson Blue is that shattered soul.

Following the death of twelve-year-old Blue’s parents, his new home is a Finca in the mountains of Mallorca, with the grandfather he has never met before. But is Horatio up to the challenge, or is he merely trying, through Blue, to make good his past?

Gradually a bond evolves between them through a shared love of poetry. But when secrets are uncovered, will understanding turn to misunderstanding? Will two souls be shattered this time?

Absorbing, moving, witty and profound, A Man of Understanding is a beautifully-told story of the search for a higher understanding of the self and others, interlaced with poetry, philosophy and love.


Listen to an interview from 26 May 2022 on Talk Radio Europe with Diana Janney, talking about A Man of Understanding.


INTERVIEWS – Conversations with awesome people about amazing books

‘Diana has carved out her own special niche – writing novels that combine deep philosophical knowledge with great storytelling.’
– Phil Treagus

Book launch

View pictures of the book launch at Waterstones in King’s Road, Chelsea, here.