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I am delighted to welcome you to the final stop on the #BecauseOfYou blog tour and share my review of Hélene Fermont’s début novel.

because-of-you

Published: 15 August 2016
Reviewed: 15 November 2016

3.5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Bookollective as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Because of You spans 36 years in the life of Hannah Stein, a Swedish teenager who arrives in London, at the tail end of the disco era, for a gap year before embarking on a teaching career. The people she meets change the course of her life irrevocably and the novel charts her changing personal and professional fortunes over the next three decades. Because of You is about love, coming of age, friendship, bereavement, stillbirth and rape. Its themes include redemption, acceptance, fidelity and family. Because of You is a story that every woman can relate to. 

Because of You is the deeply moving debut novel by Scandinavian writer Helene Fermont. It’s a gripping work of modern women’s fiction with a distinct ‘Scandi’ feel and a psychological twist. 

Scandinavian noir has firmly established itself as a bestselling genre in the UK. Because of You takes the elements that make this style of writing so compelling – the realism and dark, morally complex mood – and combines it with women’s fiction. 

This is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny and will appeal to readers who appreciate an emotive, uncompromising and fulfilling read driven by character and circumstance. 

My Thoughts & Review:

When I first heard about “Because of You” I thought it might be another of those sorts of books that I will pick up as a wee break from dark and twisted thrillers, a change of pace so to speak.

The story follows Hannah Stein, who the reader meets in her teenage years as she prepares to leave home for London on a gap year.  The reader joins Hannah on her journey through life for the next 36 years as she experiences various events such as divorce, grief, love, heartbreak, abuse and death to name but a few.

Hélene Fermont includes some subjects of a sensitive nature in this book, and ones that some readers may feel uncomfortable about, but the writing is sympathetic and care without being gratuitous.

The characters in this feel authentic to the types of people we encounter in life, ones that are invariably various shades of interesting and ones that leave little mark on us.   The development of Hannah’s character throughout the book is well done, in the beginning she came across as very sheltered and naive but after experiencing so many things during the course of her life this changes who she is, shapes her to become a character that many readers will be able to relate to.

I did find that my interest waned slightly at times reading this, perhaps a little too wordy in places, but overall there was enough substance to keep me reading on.  The second half of the novel definitely caught my attention and had me reading quickly to find out what happened.
I have to admit that this did impact on my enjoyment of the read somewhat, finding at times I wanted to put the book down and read something else but felt that I needed to keep working at this.  Overall it is a good read, and an impressive début from a promising author.

You can buy a copy of Because of You here.

About the Author:

Born into a bilingual family (Swedish/English), Hélene Fermont enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the outskirts of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city and a major cultural hub.

Growing up in the early 1970s, she enjoyed a brief musical career on Swedish TV and radio before pursuing a rewarding career as a therapist specialising in children with learning difficulties.

Hélene has lived in London for over 20 years but still regularly returns to her native Sweden, where the unspoiled scenery and tranquility help aid the creative process. Hélene is currently hard at work on her second novel.

For more information see Hélene’s website http://helenefermont.com/  or follow her on Twitter @helenefermont


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