About the book
Masha is drowning.
Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago.
Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain.
But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.
Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back..
Published by Two Roads
Adding this to the list of books that left me sobbing!! And I wasn’t expecting that from this book going in! Having loved The Keeper of Lost Things I have been eager to read this, and a little scared too, but my fears were soon put to rest with another stunning book from Ruth Hogan that just captures human emotions in such astonishing detail.The striking start so beautifully staged had me hooked immediately.
It’s the story of 2 women – both suffering at what life has thrown their way, but both surviving…. just. Masha is living with loss. A huge tragedy changed her life 12 years ago, and now she finds peace by hanging out at the local cemetery, and counts those departed as her friends alongside the character of Sally who is always there feeding the crows. She imagines their lost lives with clarity, and when she’s not there she is at the local Lido, practicing drowning.
Alice is a single mother and dealing with a son growing up and all that brings with it. She is trying her best but life is throwing curve balls her way too and she is consumed by worries for life for her son Mattie and what will happen to him in the future.
This book looks long and hard about our attitudes to death, grieving and how that has changed over the years. The author wasn’t afraid of confronting the subject head on, and introduced some lovely characters along the way to help those grieving make sense of the world again and deal with their losses. Sometimes help comes from those we expect it from less.
And two quotes in the book stuck with me….
‘Life is full of small joys if you know where to look for them’
‘I find the living far more alarming’
At times this was heartbreaking – hence the tears as i read! – but it was also full of so much joy and inspiration that these characters become part of you and you end up cheering every positive step they take, alongside sobbing along with them when things all become too much. Wonderful!!