Maria On The Moon

Written by Louise Beech

Review written by Maureen Ellis

Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com


Maria On The Moon
Orenda
RRP: £8.99
Released: September 30 2017
PBK

Thirty two year-old Catherine Hope has a good memory. She  remembers all the minutiae of life, including events that took place many years ago. However, she seems to have lost all memory of her ninth year - recalls nothing at all, and naturally she finds this really difficult to comprehend. How can you lose a whole year of your life? And why all of a sudden, did her family stop calling her Catherine - Maria around the same time?

The backdrop for this beautifully written storyline is Hull, and in particular the well documented floods of 2007. Catherine's home has been flooded, and as we meet her, she's staying in temporary accommodation, whilst the process of stripping her house back to its bare bones and drying it out begins. This devastating experience leads her to volunteer for the Flood Crisis helplines, and it's here that she begins to recall those memories that she's clearly suppressed for so long.

Our protagonist Catherine isn't particularly easy to like, she's flippant, and frequently cuts people down with a single sentence; she's not even sure why she does it, but it's clear to the reader that she's harbouring some long forgotten life-changing event from her past.

Louise Beech has written a particularly moving story, not just in regard to Catherine, but also with regard to the people of Hull, and how much they suffered, both during, and after the deluge of 2007. It stirred up all kinds of emotions for the community.

This is a psychologically complex story, with a protagonist who appears to be stuck in self-destruct mode, and the mere irony of someone who mans the phones in a Flood Crisis centre trying to help others, yet being unable to help herself, leads to an emotionally charged read. It's clear that the author has researched her subject, and writes with a clarity that brings the various characters to life, both in terms of their feelings, and also the situations that they have to face.

Would definitely recommend this elegant and thought provoking novel. 



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