This book was chosen as part of a book club organised by my lovely bookblogging Buddy AJ from ajbookreviewclub.wordpress.com. A few of us decided to read the book together and see what our thoughts were.
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.
DON’T BE AFRAID BY DANIELA SACERDOTI
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
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.