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Maria In The Moon Paperback – 30 Sep 2017
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"A stirring novel, beautifully written." -- Irish Times
"Catherine has a gap in her memory. It's a mystery until she loses her home in a flood and a horrifying memory emerges." -- The Daily Express
"This is not a book to be rushed, but rather one to be savoured. Each word is important... Louise Beech has such a lovely way with words. It's hard to describe how beautifully she puts across her characters' thoughts, fears and feelings. Her writing is insightful." --Nudge Magazine
"Her writing is raw, beautiful and alive with emotions, and also full of fun. Horrendous events from childhood come to the surface, and the poetry of mundane life shines in every sentence." --Crime Review
About the Author
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. 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 for Prose, 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 s 2017 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.
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Apart from when she’s working at the call centre for people affected by the devastating flood in Hull. There we see her defences melt away and the kind, sensitive and patient side emerges when she talks to her callers and develops relationships with them.
However something starts to trigger her memories and we follow her painful path to recover them, refusing to give up until she has all the missing pieces of her puzzle in order to fully understand so she can start to begin to heal.
This is a story about how our minds are able to numb out and file our painful and traumatic memories away for years in order to survive. How they get pushed and forgotten from all consciousness until we are ready to face them.
It is not always an easy read but Louise Beech covers this complex and painful journey of discovery with such honesty that it resonated with me on a personal level too.
This beautifully written book shot an arrow straight into my heart and I know it will stay with me for a long time.
I've adored and shouted from the rooftops about the first two books by Louise Beech and have to admit that I was nervous to read this book, fearing that it could never live up to it's predecessors. I had no need to worry - the writing is beautiful as is only to be expected from this author and the characters are complex, human, flawed and fabulously drawn. The story is intriguing, past and present are superbly woven and the authors handling of Catherine unlocking her childhood and the fallout of her discovery was for me, spellbinding.
It's not always comfortable reading, you won't always agree with Maria's thoughts and actions but I can guarantee that you will remember her and the reasons for her self-destruct approach to relationships and in the end you WILL love her and be rooting for her to find happiness.
This is a book which will stay with me long after reading the last glorious word.... If you only buy one book this year make it this one!! I only wish I could give this more than 5 stars!
Beech's writing is exquisite, she has such a beautiful way with her prose which draws you in from the very start and makes you experience all the emotions alongside the characters through to the end.
Maria In The Moon is set in the late 2000's with the backdrop of the terrible floods in Hull whereby Catherine has temporarily lost her home. Catherine is living with her good friend in a one-bedroom flat so is sleeping on the sofa - although sleeping is a generous term as she has very disturbed sleep patterns and odd dreams. When she was a little girl, Catherine was actually Catherine-Maria but there is a year that she has lost from her memory and is also when she changed to just Catherine. Try as she may, she cannot remember this year of her life.
Catherine starts volunteering for Flood Crisis and meets the lovely Christopher who is to be her buddy in the early days whilst she settles into the support they offer the wider community over the phone. Maria In The Moon shares the devastation that Hull experienced in 2007 which is told with such empathy and authenticity - the floods are as much as a character as Catherine, Christopher et al.
What is absolutely brilliant about this book is the mystery of Catherine and her missing year - we learn about Catherine at the same time as she does. This isn't someone trying to run away or hide from their past, this is a young woman trying to put back the pieces of her missing year.
This book certainly pulls on the heartstrings; the people who call into crisis lines just so they have someone to talk too to abate their loneliness, or at the other end of the spectrum, so there is someone there whilst they have their last moments on Earth are just heartbreaking. But there are also some lighthearted moments which make you warm to the characters even more.
I adored Catherine, she is a mixture of cynicism as well as a desire to help others in her own way through the crisis lines. Catherine is so real, what you see is what you get, that makes her instantly likeable, she is very real and down-to-earth....albeit, at times, frustrating with her train of thoughts but we are all very guilty of that :)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and towards the end I was conflicted between wanting to know what happens and the disappointment that the book was nearly over. This is a beautiful read combining aspects of family drama, romance and mystery that will make you both empathise and laugh with the characters.
Another stunning read from Louise Beech - top marks, I absolutely adored Maria In The Moon.
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