When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive.
They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them.
Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued.
Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Braveweaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War.
A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love ... and what it really means to be brave
Welcome to the How To Be Brave by Louise Beech Blog Tour.
How To Be Brave is published by Orenda Books in September 2015 and is the author's debut novel.
Author Amanda Jennings is quoted on the front cover of How To Be Brave, she says;
"Moving, engrossing and richly drawn, this is storytelling in its purest form .... mesmerising."
Amanda has summed up exactly what I would like to say about How To Be Brave, especially her point about storytelling. This really is a perfect example of how a story should be told, and Louise Beech tells not just one story in How To Be Brave, but two. Her modern-day tale of Natalie and Rose, and how they deal with a devastating medical diagnosis is beautifully woven together with Colin's story of survival during World War Two.
Two very different stories of battle and endurance, set in different eras and dealing with different issues, but bound together by hope and resilience.
Natalie and Rose had the strongest of mother-daughter relationships. With father Jake away fighting in Afghanistan, Natalie has the responsibility of ensuring that Rose's everyday needs are met, that she is happy and that she doesn't miss her father too much. Rose and Natalie share a love of books, and Rose spends hours curled up in her 'book nook' escaping to the places in the stories in her books.
Their relationship shatters when Rose is diagnosed with diabetes. Although she's a bright and mature child, she's only nine-years-old and her fear manifests into bad behaviour, surly retorts, foul language and a sudden hatred of books. Natalie struggles to cope, she hates having to inflict pain onto her daughter, yet knows that the regular injections and blood tests are vital for Rose.
Alongside Rose and Natalie is a shadowy figure of an elderly man who tells them to 'find the book'.This is when the diary of their ancestor Colin starts to play a big part in their life. Colin's account of the time that he was 'lost' at sea becomes their focus, and their guide, and enables them to find their own way through their upheavals.
With a hint of ghost story, mixed up with contemporary, up to the minute narrative and a good dose of wartime history, How To Be Brave is a very special, unique and quite beautiful story. The stories are blended to perfection, the author masterfully and seamlessly knits them together resulting in a hugely satisfying, intelligent and emotional creation.
Louise Beech has always been haunted by the sea, and 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.
This is her first book, based on her experience with her own daughter’s diagnosis and the true story of her grandfather, Colin.
Follow her on Twitter @LouiseWriter
All the stories died that morning ... until we found the one we’d always known.When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a
Followlife-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep herdaughter alive. They begin dreaming about and seeing a man ina brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a manwho has something for them. Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the AtlanticOcean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued.Poignant, beautifullywritten and tenderly told,How To Be Braveweaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save herchild’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War. A simplyunforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love ... and what itreally means to be brave