Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda
Source: Review Copy
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-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…
Maria in the Moon had everything I have come to expect from this author – beautiful, stunningly impacting prose, a dark and engaging story, characters of substance and that emotional edge that only ever comes along every so often within all the books that I read.
Louise Beech always writes from the heart, her own life experiences are layered in there which gives it that strong authentic edge – never easy to describe or fit into genre boxes, Maria in the Moon encompasses many things – family drama, dark underlying social relevance, hints of psychological thriller but mostly just getting into your head, into those quiet between moments where you live and making you consider things differently.
Catherine is an intriguing and gorgeously knowable character, her mystery is our mystery and this is less a puzzle than it is an awakening – for her, for us as we read and come to understand her past and how it impacts her present. Memory and the truths we obfuscate to survive is a strong theme here, striking a chord within the reader as the story unfolds. It is clever, intense and ultimately uplifting in a lot of ways.
The author uses real events to imbue that authenticity, she takes you to the heart of all the themes she is exploring and makes you sit up and take notice. At the same time it is a wonderfully emotive piece of storytelling as always, entertaining and addictive – also deeply deeply moving and extremely thought provoking.
Maria in the Moon is a literary delight, Louise’s novels are like a bookish box of chocolates, a sweet and bitter mix of different tastes and textures – I loved every moment of Maria in the Moon and cannot wait to see what flavour I get next. Each novel has seen the quality grow, putting this author firmly on my must read list with the gorgeous sense of anticipation that goes with knowing there is a lot more to come.
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