Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech

Real life portrayed movingly in fiction     

My rating:  4 out of 5     

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A mix of reality and fiction brings the character Catherine to life, as she volunteers at the Flood Crisis telephone lines, and starts to question why chunks of her memories are lost to her.

Maria in the MoonIn 2007 there were devastating floods in many parts of the UK; this novel is set in the aftermath of the floods in Hull.  Catherine tells her (fictional) story of how she copes with her personal losses from the flood, and at the same time finds a way to help others.   It is a fascinating, and enthralling, story of the psychology of dealing with loss, and we meet many interesting characters during the course of the book, including Catherine’s mother who believes “everything can be replaced” and those ringing the crisis line who have their own stories to tell.

This is a cleverly woven story blending true events into fiction, without confusing which is which.    Catherine’s story is so brilliantly written that it is difficult to remember that this not a personal memoir.   Themes include relationships, memory loss, how helping others can bring healing to oneself, and how natural disasters wreak havoc long after the news cameras have gone away. 

A strong, and moving, story, that gives the reader plenty to think about.  I’ve given it 4*s as it didn’t hold my attention quite as much as Louise Beech’s two previous novels – perhaps because I needed some breaks from the disturbing themes of the book.   It did however really make me think about the realities of life when faced with such events.   What a brilliant author Louise Beech is! 

Also by Louise Beech see: 

How to be Brave

The Mountain in My Shoe  

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