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Archive for the ‘Red Door Publishing’ Category

 

Beneath The Surface

Author: Heidi Perks
Published: 24 March 2016
Reviewed: 3 June 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Red Door Publishing in return for an honest review

5 out of 5 Stars

 

Description:   

My Thoughts & Review

Every once in a while there’s a book that appears in the post that just blows you away, and this is definitely one of them. 
From the beginning the author draws you in, dangling the mysterious plot of a mother walking out on one of her children and taking the two youngest ones with her, and the one left behind has no idea why or where her family has gone. It’s compulsive reading, the need to find out why teenage Abi was left to fend for herself by her mother is strong.  

I won’t lie, my maternal instincts kicked in at this point, I felt I wanted comfort Abi and pull her into a motherly embrace.  The abhorrence at what her mother had done was palpable and incomprehensible.  I needed to find out why.  

Abi’s struggles to come to terms with what happened are cleverly detailed in the form of letters to her husband Adam.  Her therapist Maggie advised her that this might be a good way to get out how she feels about what has happened between her life before Adam and where she is now.  As she recounts the tale of her life up to that point it’s difficult not to feel some compassion towards her.  The irreparable damage to her mental state and her trust issues are so deeply rooted because of that disappearing act fourteen years ago.

As the story develops, things become less clear, characters evolve and you begin to see things from other points of view.  The narration from Abi’s mother Kathryn was particularly interesting.  She was a well portrayed character, incredibly meek and highly anxious.  Her mental health definitely seemed questionable at times, the girls often mentioning about her being in a constant state of anxiety or unease about things.  The controlling influence of her mother Eleanor was too much for her to bear, and the constant need for approval from her mother was definitely heartbreaking to read.  

Whilst this story was about secrets, lies, families and betrayal, there as a lot of emotion in this too.  For a writer to create characters that you could feel an absolute loathing for, ones you desperately wanted to comfort and ones you wanted to take and shake some sense into is a mark of good writing.  
Weaving such a delicate issue into a wonderful story like this is also brilliance, for some people, the idea of a mother abandoning a child is a step too far, but this was well handled throughout.  In fact, all of the sensitive issues involved in this story were well written and thoughtfully detailed and for that I applaud the author.  

The characters were all well detailed, and three dimensional (even the flawed Kathryn), they appeared very lifelike and believable.  The writing is superb, detailed and well researched, the skill at maintaining the suspense and intrigue throughout really means that Heidi Perks is a name you want to look out for in the future.  It’s the sort of story that stays with you after you’ve read it, almost making you wonder what you would do in that situation. 
This was an all consuming and compulsive read, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to others.  

You can buy a copy of Beneath the Surface here. 
 
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