Post Script: Almost Love – Louise O’Neil

Almost Love

Almost Love
Louise O’Neil
riverrun
Hachette Australia
ISBN: 9781784298869

 

Description:

If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not love: the gripping new novel from the bestselling author of Asking for It. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.

 

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

 

So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.

 

Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job.

 

But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

 

And love is supposed to hurt.

 

Isn’t it?

 

 

 

My View:

Raw, gutsy, evocative, provocative…what more can I say? This is brilliant!

 

I have never read a book where the unlikeable protagonist actually makes the narrative work – and believe me Sarah is not a very nice person – or is she? I actually have a fair bit of empathy for Sarah, I see the broken person trying to carry on with life, and I see situations that are hauntingly accurate. Life is portrayed in shocking realism, relationships in all their hues are displayed garishly, shockingly, provocatively; almost love, addicted to love? Addicted to being needed, to being wanted.

 

Could you like Sarah when she doesn’t even like herself?

 

A stunning look at relationships that will, at times, make you cringe at their realness.

 

I would love to read more by this author.

 

 

Salted Macadamia Nut Slice: Food To Make You Glow – Lola Berry

Food_To Make_You_Glow_Front_CVR

Recipes extracted from Food to Make You Glow by Lola Berry. Available now, RRP $39.99, Plum.

Link: http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781743548479

salted macadamia nut slice
Salted caramel and maca nuts … this is pretty much my dream treat, and
the fact that it’s good for my beauty regime only makes me love it more!
Macadamia nuts are full of the proteins and good fats needed for shiny hair
and strong nails, plus they are a great source of palmitoleic acid, which
hydrates and heals the skin.” p126

base
· ½ cup desiccated coconut
· ½ cup macadamia nuts,
soaked for 2–3 hours
(or overnight), then rinsed
· 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
· 2 tablespoons almond butter

salted caramel filling
· 1 cup pitted medjool dates
· 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
· 2 tablespoons macadamia nut butter
· 3 tablespoons maple syrup
· 2 large pinches of salt flakes,
plus extra to sprinkle

topping
· 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
· 3 tablespoons maple syrup
· 3 tablespoons cacao powder

BEAUTY salted macadamia nut slice

Line a 21 cm x 18 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Place the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until the
mixture is nice and biscuity and starts to stick together. With damp
hands, press the mixture over the base of the lined tin and transfer
to the freezer while you make the filling.

For the filling, put the dates, maca nut oil, maca nut butter, maple
syrup and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until
smooth and sticky. Spoon the salted caramel over the base and
spread evenly with a knife, then sprinkle a few more salt fl akes
over the caramel layer and place in the freezer for 30 minutes,
or until set.

To make the topping, mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and
cacao powder together in a bowl. Pour this over the caramel layer
and then put it back in the freezer to set.
To serve, slice while frozen and enjoy straight away, or leave it to
come to room temperature before tucking in.
Makes 12–16

p126 food for beauty

Post Script: Me After You, A True Story About Love and Loss and Other Disasters – Lucie Brownlee

Honest, open and raw.

Me After You

Lucie Brownlee

Random House UK, Ebury Publishing

Virgin Books

ISBN: 9780753555835

 

Description:

‘He crashed on to the pillow next to me, heavy as a felled oak. I slapped His face and told Him to wake up.

Our daughter, B, appeared in the doorway, woken up by the screaming – I must have been screaming but I don’t remember – and she was crying and peering in. I told her the ultimate adult lie; that everything was all right.’

 

Sudden death is rude. It just wanders in and takes your husband without any warning; it doesn’t even have the decency to knock. At the impossibly young age of 37, as they were making love one night, Lucie Brownlee’s beloved husband Mark dropped dead.

As Lucie tried to make sense of her new life – the one she never thought she would be living – she turned to writing to express her grief.

 

My View:

  

I have been struggling with what I will write in this review – somebodies memories are what they are – memories and personal reflections. This is not a work of fiction where you can like or dislike the characters, or look for the plot twist or know it will all work out ok in the end. This is real. This life. And this is at times emotionally raw and blunt.

 

I picked up this book because I was looking for answers – I am not grieving but someone close to me is and it breaks my heart not being able to help them in their time of need. I discovered that grieving whether for a relationship that has been severed or a partner or relative that has died, no matter what reason…is difficult, traumatic, exhausting and so very personal. No one can feel the loss the way you feel the pain. No one can rally help you “get over” the severance of that cord that bound you together. You have to do that yourself and that takes time.

 

What I learned is that you can help by providing company, being a sounding board, checking in and seeing that everything is ok, giving hugs, providing the physical help – doing the dishes, hanging out the washing, making meals, reminding the grieving one that they are achieving, they have coped with organising/ dealing with all those mundane things that still need attention at this time; moving house, arranging/dealing with insurance companies, government departments, rental agencies, getting up each day and facing the next one…and by sharing that one day when you least expect it you will notice that life is just a little easier and the weight on your shoulders a little lighter.

 

This is a brave, at times blunt and open personal story of love and loss and the road to recovery.

 

 

 

 

My View:

Post Script: Remember Me Like This – Bret Anthony Johnston

Powerful, painful and raw. A superb read. 

Remember Me Like This

Bret Anthony Johnston

Hodder & Stoughton

Two Roads

ISBN: 9781444788051

  

Description:

Since Justin Campbell’s disappearance four years ago, his family has been stuck in the grooves of grief, unable to save themselves let alone one another. His mother drives an hour each way to spend time rehabbing dolphins. His father has been having an affair. And his younger brother Griff just spends day after day skateboarding in the empty pool at the deserted motel.

And then the call from the police. Justin has been found and he is okay. Though missing for so long, he’s only been held across the bay in Corpus Christi, Texas, less than 30 miles away. It is a miracle.

But instead of righting the imbalances within this struggling family, Justin’s return only lays bare the effects of his trauma, threatening to snap the last threads that bind the Campbells to one another. As Justin’s kidnapper is set to be charged for his crime and the town of Southport prepares to welcome back the missing boy at the annual summer festival, pressure (barometric and other) builds and resolves in a spectacular denouement.

 

My View:

This narrative opens with a great hook – the discovery of a body on the very first page plants an image and a scenario that stays with you while you journey through this story and what a story this is! It is quietly spoken, honestly written and so so powerful. This is a superb character study of pain and hurt and grief and love. Johnston explores the intimate reactions to every parent’s worst nightmare – the taking of a child.

 

This novel is so simply written, so personal; it peeks into the life of a family in chaos, their emotions strung tight and fraying around the edges, ready to snap. It explores grief and guilt and family dynamics under strain; the fissures are wide and gaping, the hurt bleeds through the pages. How does anyone survive this type of trauma? How do you move past the damage to reconstruct your family when the missing returns? And how does the victim survive the damage inflicted upon him? This is such a painful yet powerful expression of emotions that lay bare to an internal struggle that defies you to put yourself in this position and question how you would react.

 

I loved this writing – it concentrates on the reactions of the family and the victim and does not give a voice or power to the abuser; a wonderfully fresh perspective. And the ending is guaranteed to surprise.  I look forward to reading more by this author.