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Maria in the Moon

Published Date: 9th March 2017

Available in

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EBook
978-1-910633-83-0
£5.99
30 September 2017
Paperback
978-1-910633-82-3
£8.99
30 September 2017

Description

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.’

Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

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Something so terrible happened to Maria when she was nine that she can’t remember the first nine years of her life. The not-knowing has made her an acerbic, defensive character who spurns love, but when she volunteers at a call centre for flood victims, her softer side and a memory of what happened start to emerge. Maria in the Moon is part psychological thriller, part love story and fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will love it.’ Maria in the Moon has been recommended as one of September’s best pulse-quickening page-turners in Red Magazine.

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‘Catherine Hope volunteers for a crisis helpline after her home is destroyed in catastrophic flooding. The calls she receives make her query her own past and unlock thoughts buried long ago A beautiful and compassionate read.’ Maria in the Moon is recommended in Prima Magazine.

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‘She’s an absolutely fantastic author … I’m not going to reveal her plot, it’s almost like a thriller, it’s sad and haunting.’ The song ‘Maria in the Moon’ inspired by the book was first played on BBC Radio Humberside

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‘Beautifully constructed, laugh-out-loud funny in places, and achingly sad in others. It’s such a beautifully told story of loss and gain. Equal parts Victoria Wood, Alan Bennett and John Irving, all rolled up into an emotive, heart-breaking story. I completely fell in love’ John Marrs

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 ‘Storytelling at its finest. Louise Beech is a beguiling wordsmith. Prepare to be hooked’ Amanda Prowse

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‘Bold, powerful and redemptive … a triumph’ Katie Marsh

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‘Beautiful, poignant, funny, heart-rending, dark … this book will stay with me for a very long time’ Claire Douglas

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‘A powerful and moving story’ Madeleine Black

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‘Captivating and haunting’ Louisa Treger

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‘Heartfelt and wry, this will transport you into a keenly observed world; secrets are hidden, people are flawed, but humanity endures’ Ruth Dugdall

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‘A story of pain and love … moving and real’ Vanessa Lafaye

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‘This is real life, bruised, torn and coffee-stained, refusing to give up … simply stunning’ Su Bristow

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‘Brimming with emotional honesty and glorious imagery’ Gill Paul

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‘It’s impossible not to love Catherine-Maria Hope. After you turn the last page, you will still sense her … a million stars to enhance the moon’ Carol Lovekin

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‘Both raw and lyrical, this is gorgeous, honest and incredibly moving’ Cassandra Parkin

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‘Some books seem to fly under the radar and catch you completely by surprise, which is exactly what Louise Beech’s Maria in the Moon did. Brilliantly written and incredibly moving, Beech captures the nature of memory and truth with an honest poignancy’ Culture Fly

Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.  She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.

Online Reviews

Maria In The Moon is spot on in so many ways. It’s a psychological thriller and a sideways love-story. It is impossible not to love Catherine-Maria Hope. In the moon or feet on the ground, being sick in a sink or dancing in a red dress in the rain, she will catch you unawares. After you turn the last page you will still sense her, & the echo of yet another woman’s story: a story of loss & courage & hope. My blog, my rules. A million stars to enhance the moon.’ Carole Lovekin Author

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‘Achingly, wonderfully, brilliant and totally compelling – ‘Maria In The Moon‘ made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and above all made me made me care deeply for the main character ..what more can you ask of an author? … This is a book which will stay with me long after reading the last glorious word…. If you only buy one book this year make it this one!! I only wish I could give this more than 5 stars!’ Helen, Good Reads 

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‘This book made me shed a tear or two – there is so much emotion on each and every page, in every word. I feel bereft now that I’ve finished it. The insight into people suffering trauma, their needs, their will to survive and how it’s easier to help others than to help yourself. The novel gives such a rich and valuable look at the work of crisis centres, what the people on the other end of the phone must go through. Who helps those who help others?The Booktrail

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‘My heart ached and soared as I read, Louise Beech writes with quiet, subtle, painful beauty. Her ability to create hope in loss, to reach into darkness and find flashes of light is magical. Memorable, sorrowful, fascinating and yet full of love, ‘Maria In The Moon’ has possessed my thoughts and taken up residence in my soul.’ Liz Robinson

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Maria in the Moon is the third book by Louise Beech to be published by Orenda Books, and just like her first two, this is a beautifully tender novel that will touch the heart and soul of every reader … Maria In The Moon deals with dark issues that are uncomfortable, but necessary. This is superb writing; a story that will stay with me for a long time and is extraordinarily written and presented. There are moments of unexpected beauty from richly complicated characters. It really is quite spellbinding.’ Random Things Through My Letterbox

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‘I wanted to read this book slowly, to savour every moment, yet found myself racing ahead, just to see what had happened to Catherine in the past and what was going to happen to her next. The book is filled with surprises – some good, some bad and some that turned me into a total wreck. All of Louise Beech’s books are different in subject and plot, yet they evoke the same emotions – or rather, all the emotions. I defy anyone to read her books with at least a tear in their eye, although it’s more likely to be a trickle or maybe even a flood. Keep the tissues handy!’ Off The Shelf Books

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‘So, Maria in the Moon is definitely dark. Definitely not a light read. But, as with all my novels, I aim for hope. I added moments of comedy to contrast, and bring reality. After all, everyone copes by laughing. And we all have wolves outside the house…’ Louise Beech talks about categorizing her latest novel. Shots Mag

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‘A difficult and sometimes heart-rending read, Maria in the Moon is the story of one woman’s personal journey of discovery and how the actions of one can impact and resonate on many for years to come. A story of love and of loathing, of forgiveness and redemption it is sometimes hard to read, but it is so, so worth it.’ Kindle Delight

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Louise talks about her writing toolkit as part of the blog tour for Maria in the MoonOff the Shelf Books

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‘Marie In The Moon is one of the most haunting and compelling books I’ve read in a long time, it’s full of dark humour but also filled with warmth, this novel evoked so many emotion I laughed, I cried and then I cried some more, this is a huge testament to the author’s powerful writing. Dark and deeply moving this novel is one book that’s going to stay with me for a long time, and I’m sure I will often think of Catherine’s journey and the horrors she endured.’ Maria in the Moon received the Gold Star Award from The Book Review Café

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‘I’m delighted to give you the chance to win a copy of Louise Beech’s latest novel Maria in the Moon today. Louise’s last novel The Mountain in My Shoe was one of my top reads last year. Maria in the Moon is set in Hull following the devastating floods of 2007 and follows tells the story of Catherine Hope. Catherine volunteers at a Flood Crisis helpline and unlocks some dark secrets she has kept hidden away deep inside herself.’ Portobello Book Blog has a special giveaway as part of the blog tour for Maria in the Moon. Portobello Book Blog

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‘It would be so easy to leave things after the big reveal, implying that now everything will be OK. Of course life is seldom that neat and Beech acknowledges this. In so doing she makes Catherine even more real and vivid – and tugs on the reader’s heartstrings as she does. I think you’d have to be pretty lacking in empathy not to shed a tear over the ending. Overall a delightful book with a powerful, beating emotional heart. I’m so glad I read it and I’m sure you will be too.’ Blue Book Balloon

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Maria in the Moon is a literary delight,  Louise’s novels are like a bookish box of chocolates, a sweet and bitter mix of different tastes and textures –  I loved every moment of Maria in the Moon and cannot wait to see what flavour I get next. Each novel has seen the quality grow, putting this author firmly on my must read list with the gorgeous sense of anticipation that goes with knowing there is a lot more to come.’ Liz Loves Books

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‘“Maria In The Moon” is an emotional charged read and I defy anyone not to feel a tug of the heartstrings as Catherine’s story reaches its climax. I cried as the book came to a close. But don’t be mistaken, amongst all the emotion and angst of Catherine’s life and those she listens to on the phone, there’s suspense but that’s all I’m going to say #nospoiler. The book has been labelled as ‘Dark Drama’ and it is definitely dark and dramatic.’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘Set in the aftermath of the terrible floods in Hull in 2007 added an extra, raw element to the overall storyline which really showed the harsh reality of how easily our lives can be washed away and destroyed, and what happens when you must start afresh one block at a time. The writing style is almost lyrical and you find yourself completely carried away with her words, and as I have never read anything by Louise Beech before, I look forward to reading more from this author. MARIA IN THE MOON by Louise Beech made me cry, made my stomach knot, and made me realise the power and strength of the human spirit. An unbelievable read.’ Books of All Kinds

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‘This is not a book to be rushed, rather one to be savoured. Each word is important and I didn’t want to miss a thing. Sometimes I went back and reread a sentence or paragraph. I needed to absorb it all. Louise Beech has such a lovely way with words. It’s hard to describe how beautifully she puts across her characters’ thoughts, fears and feelings. Her writing is insightful. Her stories don’t need to have intense plotlines and in fact Maria in the Moon is more of a slice of life story, a cataclysmic time in Catherine’s life. It’s a wonderful read and I absolutely loved it (just in case you weren’t sure!).’ Short Book and Scribes

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Maria in the Moon is lyrical, magical, beautifully painful and filled with hope. Maria in the Moon is emotions wrapped in paper, feelings trapped in the ink, life seen through the clearest eyes. Open the book and fall in love with a voice and a masterpiece.’ Chocolate N Waffles

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‘Louise Beech has an instinctive understanding of her characters and their stories and delivers a story that will haunt you for weeks, maybe months after you finish it. Told with remarkable sensitivity and though difficult to read in places, needs to be read,  if we are have any hope of understanding the frail hold Catherine and other’s like her, have on the reality of events long since buried … If you have not read her novels, then I recommend you do, dark, poignant and moving, this new release will without doubt garner her many more fans and well deserved that will be.’ Books are my Cwtches

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Maria in the Moon actually started out as a short story. It had a different title then. It was called Hurricane Katrina, after the name Catherine takes at the flood crisis centre, and as a nod to the devastation I’d witnessed on the news two years earlier in New Orleans. The images of the wreckage following that storm stayed with me. I could hardly imagine how it must feel to lose everything.’ Louise talks about the catalyst for Maria in the Moon as part of the blog tour. Early Grey and Cupcakes

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‘This book portrays the power that memories can have, the good and the bad. Although quite dark in nature, there is always an underlying thread of hope. It is beautiful inside and out with a cover that is also apt. The author has a natural story-telling ability. This is the best I have read this year.’ Reflections of a Reader

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‘It’s one of those books that you don’t want to say too much about as you really need to explore Catherine’s journey for yourself to experience the emotional power that Maria In The Moon wields. I loved it and I can see myself coming back to Maria In The Moon again, just to experience the beauty of Beech’s language, now that I know how it ends and I’m not being distracted by the compelling storyline.’ On The Shelf Book Blog

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‘I found the pace of the book quite slow, and a little hard to get into to start with, but as I got to know Catherine and her memories started to come back, I became more involved in her journey. It’s dark and murky and by half-way, I was utterly submerged.’ Vikbat

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Readers can win afternoon tea with Louise as part of the blog tour. Random Things Through my Letterbox

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‘I loved this novel, its uniqueness and how it captivated me with a whirlwind of emotions. This novel is filled with powerful moments, two in particular gave me a swift kick to the feels! It is a story of incredible power and emotions. A story of coming to terms with our pasts and forgiveness! When I read the final sentence of the novel, I did so with a smile on my face. An incredible story, beautifully constructed. 5* Genius.’ Anne Bonny Book Reviews

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‘Incredibly moving and quite literally breathtaking, this is a book that stirs all types of emotion in the reader and leaves you with a sort of wispy feeling of magical realism, one that makes you wonder if you dreamed the entire story or really did just read it. Excellent writing and highly, HIGHLY recommended if you’re looking for a book that is many things all at once, as no single genre can confine this novel.’ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

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‘This is such a beautifully written book, it’s emotional, heart-breaking, tough reading in places but it also has some humour. I tried to slowly savour every word as I was reading but this is a story that had to be devoured. It’s quite suspenseful and I just had to read on and on until I was satisfied. It was truly captivating. Maria In The Moon is definitely one of those books that will stay with me for a long, long time. It’s haunting, captivating, raw, emotional and a book I will be highly recommending.’

It’s all about the Books blog

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‘There were a few times when I felt choked reading. It’s not a depressing book but it is very emotional and when I got towards the end I was in tears more than once … Louise Beech is an incredible author who has touched my heart with each of her novels. I feel when reading her words that you can see her soul. Her words are powerful, emotional and there is a passion about things that are important to her and people who are close to her. She is an author who I will never tire of reading. Maria in The Moon is probably my favourite book so far. ‘ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘This book deals with some very dark and difficult topics that are treated with great empathy and understanding.  Louise Beech has a beautiful and lyrical writing style that really engages the reader, drawing them into the story and capturing their attention … Maria in the Moon is a wonderful novel, it is poignant, heartfelt and utterly compelling.  A real page turner, that will leave you with a book hangover, I highly recommend this book.’ Book Literati

 

‘Parts of the story were hard going with regards to the content and I was strangely shocked by the route Catherine’s story took.  Strangely shocked because it was exactly where I expected Beech to take the story but was thrown when it actually happened! … It’s an absorbing tale of loss and family, with the predominant theme being loss.  Loss of your sanctuary, loss of your identity and loss of your innocence.  I can see exactly why so many people adore Beech’s novels.’ Damp Pebbles

 

‘The book doesn’t dwell too much on the negative side of things, but rather shows us that the sun can always appear behind every grey cloud.  As Catherine’s house was repaired, I felt her soul being repaired at the same time, helped immensely by her budding relationship with the thoughtful, caring Christopher … Filled with emotion and exquisite prose in Louise Beech’s inimitable style, Maria in the Moon left me speechless and completely thunderstruck.  Louise Beech hasn’t just aimed for the stars, she’s shot past them and given us the moon on a stick: Maria in the Moon is the very pinnacle of perfection.’ The Book Magnet

 

‘Wonderfully observant, Maria in the Moon is a really perceptive story by an author who knows how to offer the very best to her readers. There is never a moment when the story doesn’t flow brilliantly, making you laugh out loud in places and weep buckets the next. It’s sharp and sassy, sad and sorrowful, and contains more anguish than any one person should be expected to deal with, but throughout it all, Catherine’s unique personality shines through with every lovingly created word.’ Jaffa Reads Too

 

‘I adored this novel; it is simply stunning and so powerful! I found I could really identify with Catherine. There are parts of her story that were really hard for me to read, coming a bit too close to my own experiences, but the writing is so beautiful that I had to keep reading through my tears … This is one of those very rare and very special novels that will make you feel all of the feelings, it will take hold of you and it won’t let you go. It’s an absolutely stunning novel and I highly, highly recommend Maria in the Moon!’ Rather Too Fond Of Books

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‘Maria in the Moon is stunning and has so many qualities that any review I write will never fully convey the beauty within its pages. I could simply just say ‘read it, you won’t regret it’ but that wouldn’t be enough … Maria in the Moon is a book that needs to be on your bookshelf. When reading take the time to read it slowly in order to fully appreciate its exquisiteness and for the emotions to take hold but, when all said and done, just make sure you read it.’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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Maria In The Moon is a book that is slow and steady, yet the storyline is engaging and I couldn’t help but love Catherine and root for her to find her way through her troubles and out the other side. I absolutely loved the relationship that Catherine had with her step mother, it was brilliantly done and added some humour to the story. Catherine’s story was not always easy to read, but it was somehow quite beautiful.’ If Only I Could Read Faster

 

‘This is such a sumptuous, beautifully written book packed full of emotion and one that tugged at my heart strings as soon as I realised where the story was heading … This is a tough book to read at times and made me feel very uncomfortable in places but I loved being taken out of my comfort zone by such an extraordinary young woman. A breathtakingly beautiful story that deserves to be praised far and wide so that everyone can experience it. Highly recommended by me!’ My Chestnut Tree Reading

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‘As Maria in the Moon progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to put the book down. While the reasoning behind the missing year may become apparent it is without doubt the skill of Louise’s prose that makes this a riveting experience. I think this is a book that will take a little while to finally sink into my subconscious so I can wholly appreciate it’s beauty. I will probably read it again to fully savour every word because it’s one that needs to be absorbed slowly.’ Ali – The Dragon Slayer

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‘This novel is a rollercoaster of emotions and hard to categorise or sum up neatly. It made me smile, laugh, cry and think. I was caught up in the storyline, the characters, the relationships and the backdrop of a real event but I was also mesmerised by the writing style and the powerful prose … This book is actually very complex and multilayered in a way that is not obvious but the fact that the prose is so absorbing and captivating shows that this author has a real gift for language.’ Bibliomaniac

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‘The story – and its telling – has a stunning power and honesty, and no-one could ever read this book without being deeply emotionally affected. But then Catherine’s mother admonishes her for swearing – and in such a wonderful turn of phrase that you find yourself smiling again. My head told me I might not like this book – my heart told me that I loved it.’ Being Anne

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Louise shares her essential writing toolkit as part of the blog tour. Off The Shelf Books

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‘Louise Beech definitely has a unique skill of taking the reader on an emotional and sometimes painful journey, injecting love, hope and humour throughout.  All of Louise’s books have left me with a very warm and cosy feeling long after I have finished the final page. If you are looking for a thought-provoking, beautifully written book that will make your heart ache and sing at the same time – you should definitely read this book.’ Compulsive Readers

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‘It was emotional in the sense where you end up emotionally exhausted, heart-broken, powerless; all without shedding a tear. There has only ever been one other book which has emotionally destroyed me in this way before, but now I can safely say that it is now two books that have done this … Raw, poignant and beautifully delivered, Maria in the Moon will emotionally destroy you in a way that you never thought possible. Allow yourself to feel the storyline. Allow yourself time to digest the emotion. ‘Maria in the Moon’ deserves patience and love, just like Catherine-Maria.’ The Writing Garnet

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Reviews