What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past?
Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn’t visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she’s plunged back into the past she’s been trying to escape.
Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it’s soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?
The Books that Inspire me by Anouska Knight
After writing my first book Since You’ve Been Gone my editor suggested I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. She thought our styles shared something, I later learned that this was a pretty generous compliment! So I read Jojo’s book and was extremely glad I did. As soon as I’d finished, I knew for sure that writing about ordinary people dealing with extraordinary issues was something I wanted to explore.
Letting You Go in many ways is a story about the damage a family can unintentionally do to itself, the ripple effect of a single mistake or misjudgement, and one woman’s struggle in particular to set down her emotional baggage for the sake of a healthier soul.
Aside from writing them, I think I mostly enjoy books that explore the relationships us human beings have with one another. I know it’s ridiculous at 35 to think the way I think, but I’m quite childish in my perspective of the world. I believe in right and wrong, good and bad. I like things to be fair! Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper was a book that slammed home the fact that life simply is not fair, and crap things happen to decent people. My Sister’s Keeper was particularly poignant for me because I read it around the time my own beautiful sister was first diagnosed with cancer. At 28, she’s currently slugging out her second fight with it. See? Crap things, decent people.
Maybe it’s because of this that I like my children to read more uplifting material. I can’t explain it, it sounds weird I know. But I can’t read Oh, the places you’ll go! by Dr Seuss to my sons without a lump in my throat. I feel the same way each time Ebenezer Scrooge rises a better man. (I should mention here that I cried like a baby when the kids made me watch The Iron Giant. ‘Superman.’ Yep, that bit. Blub!)
I do also love books about retribution though. I suppose this comes from my desire to see bad people get their comeuppance. I love, love, love Laurell K Hamilton. The bad guys in her Anita Blake series don’t just get punished, they get annihilated. Usually by the pint-sized heroine. I love that, the wicked suffering for their crimes. It makes me feel good. That’s not weird, right? Maybe we should move on...
There are also the stories involving love. Love is a massive part of my life I’m lucky to say and I think Liane Moriarty is one of my favourite authors at the moment because she weaves so subtly into her books the different guises in which love can present itself while deftly tackling hard-hitting issues. She’s observational, smart and bloody funny too. When I grow up, I’d like to be just like Liane Moriarty.
Thank you for having me ;)
Letting You Go by Anouska Knight is published on Thursday 10th September (Mira, £7.99)