“Storytelling at its finest. Louise Beech is a beguiling wordsmith. Prepare to be hooked.” Amanda Prowse
“Beautifully constructed, laugh-out-loud funny in places, and achingly sad in others. I completely fell in love.” John Marrs
“Bold, powerful and redemptive … a triumph.” Katie Marsh
“Beautiful, poignant, funny, heart-rending, dark … this book will stay with me for a very long time.” Claire Douglas
“A powerful and moving story.” Madeleine Black
“Heartfelt and wry, this will transport you into a keenly observed world; secrets are hidden, people are flawed, but humanity endures.” Ruth Dugdall
“A story of pain and love … moving and real.” Vanessa Lafaye
“This is real life, bruised, torn and coffee-stained, refusing to give up … simply stunning.” Su Bristow
“Brimming with emotional honesty and glorious imagery.” Gill Paul
“It s impossible not to love Catherine-Maria Hope. After you turn the last page, you will still sense her … a million stars to enhance the moon.” Carol Lovekin
“Both raw and lyrical, this is gorgeous, honest and incredibly moving.” Cassandra Parkin
“Tense and affecting.” Michael J. Malone
“Effortlessly captures the grind of real life and infuses it with flourishes of subtle poetry.” Matt Wesolowski
“Captivating and haunting.” Louisa Treger
I’m really thrilled to be on the blog tour for this lovely book. With huge thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater at Orenda Books for my ARC copy.
My Thoughts & Review
What a writer Louise Beech is and what a way she has with words. Evocative, captivating beautiful prose that makes me stop and just marvel at how well she crafts her books. One of those books you stop reading and just have to hug.
Tough, feisty, prickly and takes no nonsense from anyone Catherine works in a flood crisis call centre talking to and counselling flood victims over the phone. She discovers that she has a real knack for that type of thing and develops a rapport with callers who start to ask for her personally. One of them has a mysterious connection to her that isn’t revealed until the end.
I remember the floods of Hull. I wasn’t personally involved but do recall the devastation and chaos on the news. People suffered terribly.
I do have a flood story of my own that gave me some perspective into the Hull floods and the aftermath. It was the flood of Llandudno in 1993 (see here http://threetownsforum.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=221.0)
We narrowly missed being flooded but friends & neighbours were. I was a nurse on duty the night of the flood in one of the local hospitals and the ground floor flooded so all patients had to be moved up to the top floor.
For weeks after, it was all anyone could talk about and everyone had their own flood experience story. It was a traumatic time and much more so for those whose homes were flooded. This book brought all the memories back from that time. The very real fears, as mentioned in the book, that flood victims have when it rains heavily again. I felt that too. A feeling that probably never leaves anyone who has ever experienced it.
In the book, some of the victims however haven’t called the crisis line to talk specifically about the flooding, although that is their primary reason for calling. They’ve phoned for company, or they have a secret that has been kept hidden for some time but the horror of the flood has dragged it to the surface and it’s become exacerbated. It takes more than one call from them to slowly reveal what is really troubling them. Such is the case too with Catherine, herself a flood victim, who had to move into a friend’s flat when her own home was flooded. She knows she was once called Catherine Maria but has no memory of when or why her family stopped calling her that. She has no recollection of one year of her life in fact. A year in which she knows something bad happened and her special middle name wasn’t the only thing that was lost. Slowly though and in a traumatic way, Catherine remembers.
Louise Beech has real insight into the lives and inner turmoils of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
>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.
Catch up with the other book bloggers on the tour.