#BlogTour #Review ~ Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks

I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing my thoughts about this wonderful book today. Huge thanks to Louise, Karen and Anne for the chance 🙂 xx

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…

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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. 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.

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My Review

I leapt at the chance to participate in the Maria in the Moon blog tour. Louise Beech is an astounding author add into the mix this is an Orenda book so that guarantees in my mind that I will be in for a treat.

A hauntingly, melancholic, heart-rending novel that will fill your heart with love at the same time as making it crumble.

Catherine is a character that you want to wrap in your arms and protect her from the inevitable but in order for her to grow and accept herself she needs space to breathe.

This is a story with a strong linkage to names, Catherine’s beloved Nanny called her Catherine Maria but what happened to her as a child that resulted in her losing the ‘Maria’ part? She seems to have nicknames for her family and friends, Aunt Mary becomes Aunt Hairy, Celine becomes Sharleen, Billy becomes Will etc so there is a definite theme. So it comes as no surprise when Catherine takes on her role at a help line she calls herself Katrina. Can she hide her true self behind a name …..

Catherine has a memory block, she is frustrated when she can’t recall anything from her ninth year. It’s in her nature to help others, previously she had volunteered at a crisis centre so when her home town floods and her home is affected she begins to take calls from other flood victims. It’s as these progress and she deals with some extraordinary calls her own past begins to catch up with her.

All the characters involved are entirely realistic, the writing enables the reader to get under the skin of them and really feel the emotions. Some of the content revealed makes for uncomfortable reading but is absolutely necessary for the story. 

As Maria in the Moon progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to put the book down. While the reasoning behind the missing year may become apparent it is without doubt the skill of Louise’s prose that makes this a riveting experience. I think this is a book that will take a little while to finally sink into my subconscious so I can wholly appreciate it’s beauty. I will probably read it again to fully savour every word because it’s one that needs to be absorbed slowly.

I just adore this quote from it: “It’s not love unless it hurts”

Huge thanks to Louise, Orenda and Anne Cater for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily and for inviting me onto the tour.

 

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