I am absolutely delighted to be a stop on the Blog Tour for The Mountain in my Shoe by Louise Beech so a huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for this very exciting opportunity!
About this book…
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.
Exquisitely written and deeply touching, The Mountain in My Shoe is both a gripping psychological thriller and a powerful and emotive examination of the meaning of family … and just how far we’re willing to go for the people we love.
I know that I’m not alone in saying that I so adored How to be Brave, the first novel by Louise Beech, that I was worried about reading her follow up as I didn’t want to be disappointed by my (probably unrealistically high) expectations! But I should have trusted the extraordinary talent of this “new literary talent on the block” as, although a different style of book to How to be Brave, this book totally exceeded my expectations….I absolutely LOVED it! In fact I decided to sleep on my review so that I got it just right and did it justice. But even now, after a sleepless night where the characters refused to stop interacting with my brain, I know that my words will never live up to the emotions that literally bubbled to the surface from reading this poignant tale.
Although billed as a psychological thriller this has so much more depth to it than you can hope to expect in that genre. The story is told with three character points of view, firstly Bernadette who’s an official friend to a fostered 10 year old boy. From the start we are very aware that her marriage is not functioning as others do. She seems very controlled by her husband and there is definitely some psychological abuse as well as a possible history of physical abuse. But I took to this quiet and nervously unassuming woman as soon as she was introduced. Then we have Conor who has gone missing from his foster mum’s house and may be heading for his real family. And the final teller of tales is The Book. Now I found The Book to be the most heartbreaking and difficult of the three turns to read. My heart ached for the baby, toddler and then young schoolboy that Conor became. Let down by adults, never through any fault of his own, it gave an insight into a system that I had never experienced written about in such a way before. It truly tugged at my heartstrings but all the while balancing that emotion with a promise of hope.
I know that writers are advised to “show” readers not tell them and with her soft, almost poetic writing style Louise Beech makes her characters and settings as real to the reader as if they were there on the page with them. This stunning book will stay with me for quite some time to come.
The Mountain in My Shoe is published by Orenda Books and is available in ebook with the paperback being published on 30th September 2016. Available to buy from Amazon UK.
About the author…
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose début novel How To Be Bravewas a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. 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 is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.