My #Review of #eighteenseconds by @LouiseWriter published by @MardleBooks on 27.4.2023

Family is the best thing in your life. And the worst.

My mother once said to me, ‘I wish you could feel the way I do for eighteen seconds. Just eighteen seconds, so you’d know how awful it is.’

I thought about it. Realised we could all learn from being in another person’s head for eighteen seconds. Eighteen seconds inside Grandma Roberts’ head as she sat alone with her evening cup of tea, us girls upstairs in bed. Eighteen seconds inside one-year-old Colin’s head when he woke up in a foster home without his family. Eighteen seconds inside the head of a girl waiting for her bedroom door to open.

Writer, Louise Beech, looks back on the events that led to the day her mother wrote down her last words, then jumped off the Humber Bridge. She missed witnessing the horror herself by minutes.

Louise recounts the pain and trauma of her childhood alongside her love for her siblings with delicious dark humour and a profound voice of hope for the future.

Thank you to Mardle Books for kindly sending me an early proof of Eighteen Seconds.

Im not sure what drew me to this memoir by author Louise Beech but I’m so glad, which is a strange thing to say about such a touching and horrific memoir.

This book will not be for everyone, it deals with mental health issues, abuse, suicide and fractured families, that said this is such an uplifting book, and what comes from reading it, is hope, hope that through the darkest of times, we can overcome and find joy and love in those around us, that support us and love us for who we are, not what we’ve been through.

Louise Beech writes with assured honesty and dark humour ( I’m just going to add here that growing up with a chronically ill Mother, my Brother and I have learnt this art, an example…when our Mum used to go to the local chest hospital ( she had chronic asthma ), there was a sign on entering saying “Dead Slow”, well us being kids laughed at it, and I remember my Mum also laughing but my Dad got very cross with us all!), in fact, I actually felt Louise coming off the pages and talking just to me. What an absolute talent, to be able to look back and write of past and current horrors BUT move forward and learn to work through the very situations and emotions that can floor anyone, to survive and become an excellent writer is amazing, to have used writing as a way of dealing with some of the awful things that happened to Louise and her siblings, is such an uplifting event.

My overall feeling when I had finished Eighteen Seconds was that I just wanted to find Louise Beech and give her the biggest hug ever! Not because I feel sorry for her but because I’m in awe of her talent and ability to move on with her life in such a positive way. obviously, I’m not able to do this, but should I ever meet Louse Beech I shall definitely give her a huge Jude hug!.

A touching, heartfelt, moving, horrific and uplifting memoir and well deserving of 5 Stars.

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. This Is How We Are Human was a Clare Mackintosh August Book of the Month 2021. Audiobook memoir Daffodils came out in 2022, and novel Nothing Else too. Her memoir is coming in paperback as Eighteen Seconds April 2023.
Louise also writes as Louise Swanson.

You can buy Eighteen Seconds for £9.19 HERE

You can visit Louise’s website HERE



My #Review of #HerSistersShadow by @CWimpeney published by @northoxpress

Child killer Gary Brunswick has just been imprisoned for life for the murder of ten-year-old David Foster, but for DCI Kay Harris of Greater Manchester Police, it’s cold comfort.

As Senior Investigating Officer Kay has agonised over the case for months, could she have saved the boy? The Foster case, and the death of her sister, Helen, by suicide a year ago, weigh heavily on her.

She finds her sister’s diary, believing that Helen meant it for someone else. Each page exposes her sister’s pain, her marriage problems, her suspicions about her husband. It becomes clear the diary was intended for Kay alone. Each entry taunts and pokes and Kay’s guilt. Her sister’s words haunt her.

As Kay’s concentration deteriorates, a period of leave is recommended. A condition of which is that she accepts therapy. Reluctantly Kay attends but decides to escape the probing sessions by retreating to her holiday home in the Scottish Highlands.

Before leaving for Scotland Kay happens upon Ava, a woman intent on jumping to her death to escape her abusive ex-husband. Kay convinces Ava to flee with her to Scotland. In her increasingly fragile state, Kay believes by saving Ava she will earn redemption for all those she couldn’t save and will finally be able to lay her sister’s shadow to rest.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Her Sisters Shadow, but once the story started I was utterly gripped!

Without giving too much away this book s about grief, guilt and the way our minds handle extremely stressful situations. Our main protagonist DCI Kay Harris is an amazing character and a real feat of writing, we follow her slow descent into mental distress and how our minds work during a total mental breakdown. It was so well written I really couldn’t put this book down, the way Ms Wimpeney has crafted this insight into what must be such a horrific experience is astounding, combine this with a fabulous plot, shocking twists, and a great cast of supporting characters make this book a real gem.

If you like a book that will keep you up all night and have you totally invested in it’s cast and storyline, then Her Sisters Shadow is a must!

Brilliant and another 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!

Catherine was born and raised in Manchester. Her Sister’s Shadow is her debut novel. She has worked as a mental health nurse and is a qualified Psychotherapist. She is drawn to writing which reflects her psychological practice.

You can buy Her Sisters Shadow HERE

You can follow Catherine on TWITTER @CWimpeney