I’m just thrilled to be part of the celebrations for Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech on publication day, as Louise is such a lovely person whom I’ve met on several occasions. Here you can read all about an event earlier this year in Nottingham where Louise spoke alongside other inspirational authors. I have also reviewed another of Louise’s wonderful books, How To Be Brave here.
Maria In The Moon is published by Orenda Books today, 30th September 2017, and is available for purchase here.
Maria In The Moon
A stunning, beautifully written dark drama by the critically acclaimed author of How To Be Brave and The Mountain in My Shoe.
Thirty-two-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 Review of Maria In The Moon
Catherine Hope volunteers at a flood crisis phone line, but it might be Catherine herself who needs the support more.
I was so apprehensive about reading and reviewing Maria In The Moon, because I was afraid it might not live up to expectations. However, I finished it feeling bereft. I simply didn’t want it to end. In a way there isn’t much of a plot. Catherine, called Katrina for the purposes of the help line, answers some calls and regains some missing memories from her ninth year. But oh my goodness there is emotion, depth and artistry in the writing.
I think it says something about the exquisite skill in Louise Beech’s penmanship that I didn’t much like Catherine and her spiky personality to begin with, but by the end of the novel when I had learnt as much about her as she had learnt about herself, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else but holding her in a comforting hug. The characters in Maria In The Moon are flawed, human and so real that I could imagine bumping into them in the street. I loved that Catherine has the last name Hope as this positivity underpins the awfulness of so many of the events that are revealed, leaving the reader feeling emotionally exhausted but ultimately uplifted by the experience of reading Maria In The Moon.
I thought the conceit of how we write our own life’s narrative was beautifully executed. That we edit our memories in the same way an author edits a story until we have something we can bear to read is handled with mastery by Louise Beech. Indeed, I found the writing accomplished, engaging and terribly moving so that I experienced almost a sense of pain as I read.
Maria In The Moon is a book that thrums with poetic honesty and the truths of life and I loved it.
About Louise Beech
Louise Beech knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic.
Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. Her debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015.
When she was fifteen Louise bet her mother ten pounds she’d be published by the time she was thirty. She missed this self-set deadline by two months. Her mother is still waiting for the money.
There’s more with these other bloggers too: