Book Review: Don’t Be Afraid, by Daniela Sacerdoti.

05 Mar
Book Review: Don’t Be Afraid, by Daniela Sacerdoti.

This book was chosen as part of a book club organised by my lovely bookblogging Buddy AJ from A few of us decided to read the book together and see what our thoughts were.


book secrets

From the No. 1 bestselling author of Watch Over Me, Take Me Homeand Set Me Free, Daniela Sacerdoti returns to Glen Avich for her fourth book set in the magical and atmospheric Scottish Highlands.



When you’ve forgotten how to live, help can arrive in mysterious ways…

Successful artist Isabel Ramsay has never come to terms with the tragic death of her mother. Haunted by what happened, Isabel finds her own life spiralling out of control until, one winter’s day, she gives up, unable to bear the pain of living any longer. Yet somehow she wakes up, remembering a vision of a mysterious woman who has saved her. But alone in a locked house, surely that’s impossible?

With her family and friends worried out of their minds, her husband Angus finds a companion to watch over Isabel while he’s away from home. Warm, wise Clara can connect with Isabel in a way no one else can, helping her face up to her painful past, rediscover her passion for art and become brave enough to live her life again. But there’s a mystery surrounding Clara: who is she, and why does Isabel feel she’s known her all her life?

Don’t Be Afraid is a beautiful, life-affirming story of how even the most difficult struggles can be overcome and how help can arrive in mysterious ways.

Published December 10th 2015 by Black & White Publishing

dont be afraid


My Thoughts.

This is a book that I wouldn’t usually pick up, the blurb sounding a bit depressing and the cover didn’t draw me in. HOWEVER….because AJ had recommended it and was having it as part of her book club, I decided to buy it. (Only 50p!) and join in.

I can tell you, I’m glad I did read it, and this is a great advert for “don’t judge a book by its cover”

It is a very different read from what I am used to, but I was totally drawn into the characters lives. I think because there weren’t that many characters in the book, it was easier for us to get right into the characters heads. Heart warming and heart wrenching, this is a story of a woman’s journey to recovery with help from some very special people. We hear from Bell (Isabel) about how she feels and what is going on in her head, then we hear how her Husband Angus feels and how he interprets Bell’s behaviour. It was really interesting to read the two different perspectives, the one who has the mental illness and the one who is watching and caring. The Author did a great job of portraying this and I can totally imagine that people who are in either situation would really be able to relate to how the Author wrote it.

I wouldn’t describe this as a happy enjoyable read, but a thought provoking story that draws you into the characters and makes you really root for them and feel for them. Sacerdoti gives great insight into depression, anxiety and agoraphobia, we could really feel Isobel’s pain, and Angus’s pain as he has to watch it.

The lady that comes to help Bell and Angus is Clara. What an amazing person Clara was written to be. She is the kind of person you would wish to be there if your mental health was suffering. She is described by Bell as :

“like a candle in the darkest of nights”

The writing is beautiful, Glen Avich is described so very serenely and a place that would be delightful to live. It is based in a small lochside village in Scotland.

“.our whitewashed cottage on the loch shore..”

I liked how the Author seemed to really know Scotland. How typical is this!!:

“Right. I’ll put the kettle on” Angus conceeded in perfect Scottish style – when overwhelmed with emotion, either make a cup of tea or have a stiff drink.”

There is a wonderful epilogue that would be worth reading even if you didn’t read the rest of the book. I think this Author is a very sensitive, caring and very talented lady. Thank you to opening my eyes to yet another genre of book that I wouldn’t normally read.

Thanks to Daniela for writing the book, and big thanks to AJ for recommending this for her book club. I look forward to reading the other bookclub members thoughts.






Have you read any books by this Author? What are your thoughts?

Are you in any bookclubs? What is your bookclub reading at the moment? Leave a comment below, as always I’d love to hear from you.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Posted by on March 5, 2016 in Books


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21 responses to “Book Review: Don’t Be Afraid, by Daniela Sacerdoti.

  1. Donna

    March 5, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I wouldn’t normally pick it up because I’m staying away from anything depressing or dealing with issues I myself am confronted with but after your review I’m seriously considering getting this one! 🙂

    • chocolatepages

      March 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      The character Clara says some lovely things, and the epilogue is full of hope and optimism. I’m not sure it would help with any issues, but I hope you feel better soon regardless. xx

  2. Mrs Tubbs

    March 5, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Sounds like a good read. I’m sticking to cheerful, non demanding things at the moment though

    • chocolatepages

      March 5, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      I don’t blame you, that is what I am going back to now. Good old escapism.

  3. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)

    March 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    This sounds like my kind of read! I’ll have to add it to my ‘to read’ list 🙂 #KCACOLS

  4. mumjd

    March 7, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Sounds an intrigueing read #weekendbookclub

  5. Shona (@trainingmummy)

    March 7, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Don’t you love it when a bargain, wouldn’t normally read, book turned out to be good read. Sounds interesting #weekendbookclub

    • chocolatepages

      March 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Yes, sometimes they are the best kind. Thank you.

  6. Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    March 7, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I’m sad to day I haven’t read a book for quiet some time but used to love it. I would go through dozens a month on my commute to work. But since I started driving into work, had kids and now work from home I haven’t had many opportunities to indulge. Maybe our summer holiday will allow me some time for this passion again? I hope so as I love the sound of this book and its characters. Thanks so much for sharing on #KCACOLS and I hope you will be able to pop by again next week x

    • chocolatepages

      March 7, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Its nice to hear you are a booklover. I hope that you do find some time to indulge, its great escapism.I will see you again on #kcacols, its a fab linky.

  7. irena_bookdustmagic

    March 8, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Firstly, can I jusr ask you: where did you buy this book for only 50p? I am dreaming about living in the world (or should I say country) where I’ll buy books that cheap…
    And now for this book, it does sound interesting and if author really knows Scotland, that is always a plus from me because atmosphere in the book is what is really important for me as a reader.
    I think it is also cool how you read this book because of book club and ended up liking it. It is really interesting how many ways there is to discover good books…

    • chocolatepages

      March 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Irena, it was really good to be part of the book club, its always good to read the same books as a friend so that we can compare thoughts. Perhaps we could read a book at the same time soon to compare thoughts and reviews? That would be good.
      The link where I bought the book is Amazon UK. I don’t know if you can get that?
      Here it is:

      • irena_bookdustmagic

        March 8, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        ohh, thanks! Yes, I know about amazon uk, I already wanted to order some second hand books from there but the thing is – the shipping cost me 8 pounds, so it’s cheaper for me to order it via TBD.
        Ohh, reading book together – that would be great! Do you already have a book on your mind?

      • chocolatepages

        March 9, 2016 at 10:22 pm

        The link with Amazon was to buy the ebook, so it would go to your kindle or ereader, so no shipping charge. I am half way through a book at the moment, but I will have a think and see what would suit us both. Sounds fun.

      • irena_bookdustmagic

        March 10, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        ok, sounds like a great plan. Just let me know when you want and can. 🙂

  8. A Moment with Franca

    March 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Oh no for the first time I don’t think this is the type of book that I would like to read as it sounds a little bit sad. I love reading romantic novels. I know it sounds boring but I really enjoyed that. However, as usual I love your reviews! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    • chocolatepages

      March 12, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you, I understand and I too was hesitant to read it. As I read so many books, it is nice to branch out occasionally. Thanks again for hosting #kcacols and I will be back on Sunday.

  9. Suze

    March 12, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I love AJ’s book club. I don’t always manage to read the books on time, but she always chooses amazing books.

    • chocolatepages

      March 12, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      This was the first time I’d taken part and it was great to discuss while we were reading the book. I hope we do another one soon.

  10. annabelle20

    November 23, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Hi am a new blogger I just want to say 1 quick thing I really like your posts it is really nice #lovewinter

    • chocolatepages

      November 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Thank you and welcome to the blogging community. I hope you will enjoy it. It’s good to have like minded people to talk books with.


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