The Groundsmen By Lynn Buckle (Review)

Good afternoon dear readers. I have exciting news to share with you all today. Epoque Press are publishing their second title, The Groundsmen by Lynn Buckle, on 28th September. I own a big thank you to the amazing people at Epoque Press for letting me review this debut novel early. Always appreciated. Books are life! 


Born in the UK Lynn Buckle is an accomplished Kildare based artist, tutor and writer. After years of expressing feelings into her painting she decided that her stories needed a voice and so began writing in verse. The Groundsmen is her debut novel. 


The Groundsmen delves into the fractured lives of a family blemished by a darkly disturbing past. The secrets kept hidden over multiple generations taint them all and as events spiral out of control in a cycle of violence, none of them will escape.

Buckle writes an intensely raw story that forces the reader to wade through the muddy sordid waters of a family’s affairs. An uncomfortable read that strips away the facade that many of us portray from day-to-day. The reality and brutal honesty of unfortunate people who are living in a dark world of despair and pain. For a lot of people The Groundsmen is regrettably their daily life. They suffer with family sexual abuse, finances, depression and violence, to name but a few. Buckle shows the reader firsthand how this influences peoples’ lives, how they cope to survive and struggle on. You want to turn away at points and pretend that you don’t know anything. That you are ignorant to it all. But it’s too late. You know everything. This is their life, their family unit and you suddenly become aware of how dangerous a place the world truly is.

You’re all the fucking same, groundsmen grinding away in your dirty huts! You broke my little girl,’

We are all guilty of going about our lives pretending that bad things don’t happen. That we live in a shiny happy bubble where nothing can taint its radiant glow. This is the genius of The Groundsmen. It’s deeply tainted and forces the reader to follow Toby, Louise, Cally, Andi and Cassie on their self-destructive path. It’s real, which is what makes it even more terrifying. Bad things happen everyday and some are right under our noses, we can be completely oblivious to it.  I felt shivers more than once prickle up my arm as I undiscovered skeletons in the closet in The Groundsmen. Truly gripping stuff that made me want to read on and discover the truth.

We’re all secretly living fucked-up lives, I hope. 

I thoroughly enjoyed how each chapter was told from a different character’s perspective. I felt a lot more personally involved. Ironically it was like having my own secret as I knew how each character actually viewed each other. Buckle adds that balance by narrating not only from the adults’ view point but also a child’s, young Cassie. An innocent who is still unaware of the dangers surrounding her family. I adored her innocence and she really helped get me through the book. I felt as through she was leading me through each page, holding my hand tight so we could play in the garden when it was all over. Her imagination was beautiful to witness and reminded me how we were once all children. Untainted by the world’s cruelty and naive to it’s hidden agenda. For me she was the heart and soul of the book, giving me a thread of hope for children in a similar situation. My heart bled for her and I so desperately wanted to dash in, scoop her up and tell her everything would be alright. A sign of a brilliant writer when a story makes you feel so attached to a character. I applaud you Buckle for getting that spot on and I strongly feel there is a Cassie hidden deep inside all of us. 

The imagery weaved throughout this book is astounding. My mind was fully satisfied with the creativity. I enjoyed how the images were raw and honest, it flowed with the theme of the story and made a shocking impact to the reality of the world the characters live in. 

His vile palms which I flinch from, black scales flaking onto sheets, squeezing pustules until they’ve scabbed and he picks at them again until they bleed. Does the same to his feet. Turning into a lizard.

Buckle has a natural talent for describing characters. You are instantly presented with this striking image and it sticks so clearly in your mind. It’s wonderfully done and makes the whole reading experience more enjoyable.  

A walrus of a man whose blubber oozes sweat, a paean of success. Maybe I should eat more so I at least look like I want his job. Ex GAA, his once strapping body has loosened with age and the flattering beers bought by reverential fans with long memories.

A lot of themes are explored throughout The Groundsmen. One in particular is the hints of Greek mythology. Often tragic tales ending in woe and suffering. In ways I saw The Groundsmen as a modern twist on Greek mythology. The scandals and untold secrets that surround a family slowly becoming its undoing. The innocent being led astray by the wicked. Excellently executed.

I give The Groundsmen by Lynn Buckle a four out of five paw rating. 


This book is not for the faint-hearted. It’s raw, emotional and brutal. A read that I strongly believe we all must digest. You will come away with not only tears in your eyes but a heavy heart for you now carry the family secrets around your neck like an anchor. Wanting to desperately jump ship but also stage a mutiny and take back the innocence that was mercilessly slaughtered before your eyes. It’s powerful stuff that makes you think. And that dear reader, is always sheer brilliance in my book.

Grab a copy here and discover the talented work of Lynn Buckle. You won’t regret it.

Hop hop wiggle wiggle 

About Bunny's Pause

Hello, I'm a Author/Poet/Reviewer/Bookworm/Gamer/Music Lover/Wife and Mother! I review and recommend books as I LOVE to read! I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming books to expand my ever-growing library. If you have something you wish me to read and review, please contact me. I would be delighted to hear from you. Hop hop wiggle wiggle
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2 Responses to The Groundsmen By Lynn Buckle (Review)

  1. Pingback: The Groundsmen By Lynn Buckle (Review) – Lynn Buckle

  2. Pingback: What Willow Says By Lynn Buckle (Review) | Bunny’s Pause

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