Book Title: Maria In The Moon
Author: Louise Beech
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Louise Beech novels ARE their own genre???!!!
Pub Date: 09/30/17 (Paperback)
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 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…
Well, she’s done it again folks! Upon reading The Mountain In My Shoe last year, I knew I’d stumbled across an unforgettable author in Louise Beech. Her novels are just so unique and, as you saw above, are quite difficult to force into any single genre. To do so would take away from the potential of what each reader may receive on reading these books, so I think it’s better to just say they fall under the great umbrella of fiction and leave it at that. I now expect a great wave of emotion to wash over me as I read her books, so when I picked up Maria In The Moon, not only was I expecting it, I welcomed this feeling with open arms. This is quite possibly the easiest five stars I’ve given this year, reinforced by the fact that I could have read this book on into eternity.
You know those stories that you simply can’t put down? I’m not talking the ones that you just happen to read quickly, I mean the ones you can’t stop thinking about, the ones you are sneaking around the house and hiding from your family to finish but somehow they always find you and no, you don’t want to make them another meal.
Leave me alone! That’s exactly how I felt about Maria, which I found funny because my sneaky books are usually thrillers and fast paced mysteries full of suspense. Maria was none of those, but she was something so special I just couldn’t leave her alone. This is the type of book that you’ll want to go in blind to the plot, but trust me it’s worth knowing as little as possible to gain the full experience that’s offered. I think quite a few readers will be expecting what happened in those missing moments for Catherine, but believe me that doesn’t take away from the story, as it only seemed to up the gut wrenching impact when all is revealed.
Incredibly moving and quite literally breathtaking, this is a book that stirs all types of emotion in the reader and leaves you with a sort of wispy feeling of magical realism, one that makes you wonder if you dreamed the entire story or really did just read it. Excellent writing and highly, HIGHLY recommended if you’re looking for a book that is many things all at once, as no single genre can confine this novel. I’m so grateful for fearless writers like Louise who can lead us places we may never be brave enough to take ourselves. For those unaware, there is a song titled MARIA IN THE MOON written by Carrie Martin that accompanies the novel in full perfection. If you’d like to find out more about the creation of the song, Louise and Carrie’s friendship, and how to download the track and watch the video, please visit Carrie’s website HERE.
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.
Louise Beech has always been haunted by the sea. 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 was also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show for three years.