Tuesday 5 September 2017

Blog Tour ~ Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to host one of today's stops on the 

Maria in the Moon Blog Tour

‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Orenda Books
30 September 2017

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

My thoughts about it...

Catherine Hope is a good listener and working as she does on the Flood helpline means that using her own experiences as a flood victim helps her to understand the dilemmas faced by others in the same situation. However, the phone lines also bring other problems and Catherine finds that dealing with other people's angst is allowing her own long buried memories to surface.

What then follows is a poignant story about the power of memory and of the protective nature of self-preservation. That Catherine is a troubled soul is apparent early on; she is flawed and vulnerable and as jagged as a piece of broken glass, never allowing anyone to get close enough to really know what makes her tick. Even her best friend, Fern can't figure her out, and don't get me started on Catherine's relationship with her mother!

The novel gives us a unique insight into Catherine's life. That something horrendous happened to her in her early childhood is hinted at and, as each fragile layer is carefully removed, we get the chance to see what damage has been done and just how carefully the tracks have been covered.

Wonderfully observant, Maria in the Moon is a really perceptive story by an author who knows how to offer the very best to her readers. There is never a moment when the story doesn't flow brilliantly, making you laugh out loud in places and weep buckets the next. It's sharp and sassy, sad and sorrowful, and contains more anguish than any one person should be expected to deal with, but throughout it all, Catherine’s unique personality shines through with every lovingly created word.

More about the author can be found on her website by clicking here 

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years.

Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award forProse, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines.

Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast show.

My thanks to Karen and Anne at Orenda Books for my review copy of Maria in the Moon and for their invitation to be part of this author's blog tour.


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