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.
I must be the last book blogger on the planet to read The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech, I think the reason it took me so long to read it was because everyone was saying how fabulous it was, now normally I usually find a book with so much praise leaves me feeling disappointed, but this wasn’t the case, so now every book blogger can say “I told you so”. I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very long while, and in a way it may sound strange but I’m glad I left it so long as I savoured every page of this haunting and beautifully told story.
This book is about Bernadette, a young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage who happens to befriend Conor, a 10-year-old who has spent all his life in foster care. The same night Bernadette’s husband Richard doesn’t come home, Conor also disappears. What happened to Richard and where has Connor gone? What follows is a gripping and deeply emotional read. Conor is a young boy who has spent his life being passed around the care system, he is desperate to be part of a loving family, as I read Conor’s life story told in book form I couldn’t help hoping he would find his “happy ever after”. The way the author tells Connor’s life story is ingenious, I felt for every child who has been through the care system, the writing is so expressive and credible I found myself in tears on more than one occasion.
Although this book deals with difficult issues of abandonment and abuse it’s a story of hope, compassion and the beauty of good people wanting to help others, it examines the meaning of family and explores how far a person is willing to go for the people they love. The Mountain In My Shoes is like no other psychological thriller I have ever read, it has depth but it’s also heartwarming and captivating.
This book has so many elements that made it such a special read, characters, settings, the attention to detail, the workings of the foster system all make this book something extra special. Louise Beech describes both characters and settings with such conviction the pages of this story come to life. Hauntingly poignant I really did not want this book to end, and I’m sure the characters will stay with me for a long time to come. On reflection The Mountain In My Shoes deserves all its hype and much more, would I recommend this book? Hell yes I will be recommending this book to everyone (who hasn’t read it yet!)
I won’t be giving The Mountain In My Shoes 5 star’s but I will be giving it the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, the first book of 2017 to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Orenda (30 Sept. 2016)
My thanks to Karen over at Orenda Books for my copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review. Orenda books have published some of the books I have ever read and personally I can’t wait to see what books this publisher has to offer the reader in 2017.