Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda
Source: Review Copy
A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself. On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.
Having had a very strong connection to “How to be Brave” the debut novel from Louise Beech I was particularly keen to read her next novel – this novel – The Mountain in my Shoe. I sat down with it one day and that was that. I was pulled into this most extraordinary tale with its emotionally resonant characters and utterly gripping story. When I think about how many books I’ve read in my life so far and how many more I’m hopefully going to read in the years to come I can say hand on heart that this one is going to stay with me. You get it. There are always a few that you know will not let go of you, for various reasons, this is one of those.
I’ve seen a lot of people go into the story detail so we’ll skip over that for the most part – but The Mountain in my Shoe is a stunning and immersive narrative about a boy – Connor – his life in the care system, the people he finds, their lives and the relationships we have that end up defining us. There is a psychological/mystery element that just makes the whole thing more addictive and oh my word there is some beautiful writing to be found here, Louise Beech just has a way of grabbing you right in the heart and not letting go – darn her!
The narrative here has a gentle, probing touch that just speaks truth – it is terrifically effective you absolutely do fall into the world the author creates and genuinely feel every emotion along with the characters. The mystery element serves the story in a way that not many writers can pull off – it is not the mystery it is how the characters deal with it that counts here, the slow emergence of their own acceptance and their own life journey.
Clever writing. Beautiful storytelling. Louise Beech is one of only a handful of authors out there at the moment that I genuinely believe people will still be reading in 100 years long after we are all gone.
Gorgeous. Unforgettable. Emotional.
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