Today we carry on our Year of Orenda celebration as Mandie is sharing her thoughts on Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech, the second of four of Louise’s novels we will review this month. This was a slightly different book from Louise’s earlier books, much more moving towards the kind of suspense =end of the spectrum, but still jam packed with emotion. You can read my review right here. Read on for Mandie’s thoughts.
About the Book
‘Like a cold spider, the memory stirred in my head and spun an icy web about my brain. Someone else crawled in. I remembered’Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books | Orenda Bookstore | Hive
Thirty-one-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…
My journey into the books by Louise Beech continues with Maria in the Moon and I am really falling in love with her writing. Set during the devastating floods of 2007 we are introduced to Catherine just as she is about to start working at the Flood Crisis call centre. A fairly innocuous question at her induction sets her off on a path of trying to recall part of her past that seems well and truly buried.
Catherine at times can be a little bit prickly especially with those closest to her yet at the call centre she struggles at times to remain professional as she really wants to help the people on the other end of the phone. She particularly becomes close to Sid who is recovering from a stroke and seems to really like talking to her as she takes the time to understand what he is trying to say. With Maria in the Moon, Louise has created a book that is a dark as it is beautiful. Whilst it does deal with some rather disturbing issues there are some light moments that will have you chuckling. Despite her slightly loner personality, I found I couldn’t help but like Catherine. Even with her own life in a mess, she still wanted to help others and she shows real compassion for them. I also love the way she quite often deals with family gatherings, especially when she doesn’t always get the support she may need.
This may not be the type of book that I would normally read but I am so glad that I did. Even though you do work out what Catherine had suppressed for all those years the actual ending still surprised me and I didn’t see that coming at all. As she comes to terms with her past Catherine manages to repair other fractured relationships and even finds some kind of forgiveness for the person who hurt her most. All I can say is thanks Louise for managing to produce a book that got to even someone like me, making me want to read well into the night, and I look forward to catching up with the rest of your books soon.
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 follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. 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. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.
Books By Louise Beech