‘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.’
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…
I would like to thank Orenda Books, Louise Beech and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC of Maria in the Moon in return for an honest review.
I have always felt that we have an intrinsic reaction to the books we read, some speak to us, while others leave us emotionless and indifferent. For me it often starts with the cover, which should speak of the story, like a portal into its very soul.
The cover of Maria In The Moon is stunning. It evokes the life of thirty-two year old Catherine Hope in free fall, floating and discounted from the world around her! While the story is a moving evocation of the part memory plays in all our lives. For each of us is made up of recollections and experiences that the shape the adults we become. It talks to the reader of the damage trauma can do, as we develop and grow. With piercing insight into the connection between emotional frailty and the physical reaction to trauma, Louise Beech delivers a poignant and emotional tale of one women’s struggle, to regain memories that always seem out of reach, but which haunt her. With a deft hand the writer takes us and Catherine on a painful journey of discovery. Because only by knocking down the walls her mind has built to protect her, can Catherine hope to heal. It’s a story that explores the frailty of our memories and how the truth though painful, if ignored can do untold damage.
In Catherine she gives us a character who is damaged and yet brave and determined to face those terrors that haunt her. There is no attempt at a trivial pull of the heart strings, it’s an emotional read and one that will affect you deeply, but your reactions will be based on the honest brutality of the experiences Catherine has buried.
Louise Beech has an instinctive understanding of her characters and their stories and delivers a story that will haunt you for weeks, maybe months after you finish it. Told with remarkable sensitivity and though difficult to read in places, needs to be read, if we are have any hope of understanding the frail hold Catherine and other’s like her, have on the reality of events long since buried. The actions that drive her to help others that are suffering, help us understand her more, her complex nature and extent of her bravery. You find yourself compelled to read on, to complete the journey with Catherine and to see if she can find peace and from that a life renewed.
It is without doubt a book that once read, will stay with you. It’s a stunning depiction of memory, loss and the power love has to heal.
If your already a fan of Louise Beech then Maria In The Moon will only cement the respect and love you already have for her books. If you have not read her novels, then I recommend you do, dark, poignant and moving, this new release will without doubt garner her many more fans and well deserved that will be.
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 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.
Louise Beech can be followed on the following social media sites: