#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2017
The fourteenth book in my #bookvent is one which made a real impression on me when I read it back in the summer. The central character in this book is not one who is initially all that sympathetic and in many ways she is very hard to get to like. As the core of the story, that led me as the reader to have mixed emotions while reading. But the more I read, the more I got to understand her and what made her tick. I can’t say I liked her any more by the end but I appreciated all she had been through. Set against the back drop of the real life floods in Hull back in 2007, my day fourteen ‘bookvent pick is …
Maria In The Moon
by Louise Beech
‘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 defenses we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide.
I read and loved The Mountain In My Shoe, and after creating such a moving story of Conor and his life book I had to wonder if Louise Beech could possibly pull it off again. The simple answer is yes. Although Catherine is older than Conor, and much harder to grow to like, the multiple layers of her story I described as being akin to peeling an onion, the removal of each one bringing you closer to tears. I stand by this. Catherine’s story is a hard one to rea and she is, ultimately, a hard person to get to know. Volunteering at a crisis support phone line, Catherine needs the reality of the callers stories as much as they need her. But there is one caller whose story touches her more than most – one man who is set to haunt her present just as someone else has always haunted her past. The more I learned about Catherine, the more I felt for her, the sting in her particular tail catching me unawares. That said, there is a certain inevitability about what we will discover about Catherine, but it is the way in which Louise Beech has captured the emotions on the page, balanced the light and the dark to make a beautifully haunting story, that will stay with me for some time to come.
You can read my full review of Maria in the Moon right here and purchase a copy of the book from the following links.
Happy #bookvent reading all