Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech

It was "Read an Excerpt" that clinched it. I read the opening pages and was enchanted by the voice:
‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’
Catherine has lost her memory of the year she was nine. She is haunted by a bushy-bearded man. She can't stay in a relationship. Her mother died at her birth and her father when she was eight, leaving her to her step-mother's care. The year she broke her grandmother's pretty Virgin Mary statue, the year she set loose her beloved pet rabbit, was the year she became Catherine and not Catherine-Maria.
 'But there was something else; something I couldn't remember. Something as black as feverish, temperature-fuelled nightmares. Something that couldn't be fixed or replaced.'
Catherine volunteers at crisis lines, and weeks after leaving her last call center position--and the love affair with her co-volunteer there-- she is accepted to the Flood Crisis hotline. Like many homes in Hull in 2007, Catherine's home has been devastated by the flood. She and a newly divorced friend are sharing a cramped space.

Catherine has a good relationship with her step-mother's new husband, but there is no love shown between her and her step-mom or her step-father's daughter Celeste. All she recalls is the criticism and rejection she faced after her father's death, the disappointment her step-mom has shown.

She is warned not to get involved with callers, but she can't help it. One elderly man, Sid, becomes especially dependent on her. Her coworker Christopher has come to like her and has shown he wants to take their friendship to another level.

But every night the nightmares come, and the questions plague her: what happened when she was nine years old that changed her life and haunts her, cripples her, to this day?

Maria in the Moon is a moving read about pain and resilience, and how by confronting our past and forgiving those who have harmed us we are freed and can move on in life.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Maria in the Moon
by Louise Beech
Trafalgar Square Publishing/ Orenda Books
Pub Date 01 Apr 2018
Paperback $14.95
ISBN: 9781495628160