Wednesday 16 January 2019

Review ~ A Thin Sheet of Glass by Pippa Beecheno

Endeavour Media
My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

Based on a true story, using real letters and personal accounts, this is a tale of love and courage beyond reason and against the odds. Caught in the turbulence of the 1930s, with Fascism on the rise, Jane Deering finds herself drawn into the underground world of the German Resistance. From Berlin to Madrid, she witnesses brutality and carnage, delving into a darkness that exposes her deepest insecurities. 

My thoughts about it..

In A Thin Sheet of Glass we follow the life story of Jane Deering, who is the author's great-aunt. Jane is a complex and deeply troubled woman, who we meet at various times in her life, from a childhood which is filled with insecurities, to an adulthood which is just as fraught, with all the added complications of wartime and its associated problems. 

It took me a little while to feel comfortable with the story and this is no criticism of the writing, which is very good, but it was more the way in which the story moved along through time as we start the story in 1940, when Jane is 26, but then jump back in time to 1914, and to something which happened before Jane was born. However, once I got used to the author style of writing, I found Jane's story to be quite compelling. Her struggle with mental health issues, and the way in which she was nurtured by her family and then finally, her treatment in hospital was profoundly moving, and it is all credit to the author that the emotional impact of this is so powerful.

A Thin Sheet of Glass is a difficult book to 'enjoy' as Jane's struggle with some very profound mental health issues makes for emotional reading and yet, at the same time, there is so much positivity to acknowledge in the book, and, in a thought provoking way, it really shows the love and care which Jane had from her family and friends.

There must be a tremendous amount of responsibility on the part of an author when undertaking a piece of fiction which is based on fact, particularly, when that factual evidence is based on the life of a member of your own family, I would then imagine that the weight of responsibility, and expectation, is even higher. All credit to the author for bringing her great-aunt Jane's life into the open with a story which more than does justice to her  memory.

Pippa Beecheno started her debut novel, 'A Thin Sheet of Glass', when her first-born was 18 months old, working during his naps. After re-drafting the novel a few times with the support of trusted friends and family members, she found a fantastic agent, Laura Macdougall, United Agents, and began the path towards publication. 

Twitter @PippaBeecheno

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