Rachel Elliott: Do Not Feed The Bear

Today I’m pleased to be sharing my review of Do Not Feed The Bear. It is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and Tinder Press for my copy of the book.


A life-affirming novel of love, loss and letting go – for readers of ELEANOR OLIPHANT, THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP and WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT

On her forty-seventh birthday, Sydney Smith stands on a rooftop and prepares to jump…

Sydney is a cartoonist and freerunner. Feet constantly twitching, always teetering on the edge of life, she’s never come to terms with the event that ripped her family apart when she was ten years old. And so, on a birthday that she doesn’t want to celebrate,she returns alone to St Ives to face up to her guilt and grief. It’s a trip that turns out to be life-changing – and not only for herself.

DO NOT FEED THE BEAR is a book about lives not yet lived, about the kindness of others and about how, when our worlds stop, we find a way to keep on moving.


Do Not Feed The Bear is not my usual type of read  However, that is not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Elliott’s writing is incredibly beautiful and at times, wonderfully poetic. She explores a number of themes, including grief, depression, guilt and sexuality in a way that is really poignant and made me able to connect with the way each character was feeling. These feelings are often feelings which I have experienced myself, but the descriptions give a clarity that really made me think about the concepts in a different way.

The novel is set in a fictionalised version of St Ives in Cornwall. As the description is so vivid, I enjoyed being able to picture the surroundings, particularly the natural spots, such as the beach.

The characters in Do Not Feed The Bear are all wonderfully drawn. They are all a little unusual but I found it really easy to get a sense of their personality and it was impossible not to be brought into their lives to sympathise with their individual issues  This is enhanced by the different narrators for each chapter where we even see the perspective of the family dog!

Do Not Feed The Bear is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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