Saturday, 12 November 2011
Review - Watch Over Me by Daniela Sacerdoti
Eilidh has been trying for a baby with husband Tom for a number of years and whilst failed fertility treatments were a way of life for them, their marriage was slowing disintegrating around them. Her family were constantly degrading her, not intentionally, but were totally insensitive to her situation. She was so desperate to have a baby, that even the fact that Tom was seeing someone else didn't deter her from their last attempt. When this last attempt was succcessful, she was overjoyed but she lost the baby at an early stage and this clearly broke her heart.
She decides that enough is enough, and leaves Tom taking herself off to the Highlands, the place that holds some wonderful childhood memories for her turning up on the doorstep of her old aunt Peggy. She meets up again with old friends in particular, her old friend Jamie.
Jamie's life hasn't always been a bundle of roses. After a brief fling with Janet, she turns up on his doorstep one day announcing that she was pregnant and not at all happy about it. When Maisie came along, they tried to make their relationship work, as a family, but Janet, an artist, who just wanted to paint, left Jamie and Maisie behind to pursue her dreams. They were already sad as they were mourning the loss of Elizabeth, Jamie's mother who played a massive part in both of their lives.
With Jamie, hurt and rejected from his relationship and Eilidh battered and bruised from the trauma that she's been through, Elizabeth may be on the other side, but still tries to have a hand in what happens in her son's life and tries to draw them together once again. Can they let go and move on or are they stuck in the past?
This heart wrenching, emotional, wonderful story is probably one of the best books I've read this year. Beautifully written, you can tell that Daniela Sacerdoti must have the biggest heart in the world. Having lost my own Mom a few years ago now, I could relate so much to the story being told from both Elizabeth's point of view and the point of view from the person who has lost a parent. I hope and pray (and Daniela has probably confirmed it for me) that my Mom is watching over me and guiding me in the right way that Elizabeth did with Jamie in this book. I can admit to openly sobbing with the emotions that this book had me feeling. You probably already know by now, that I'm a big softie anyway but all of this was very close to home for me.
The emotions that she describes from the point of view of being a parent, for both Jamie and his sister were so well written, the way that Shona felt when she had each of her babies and the way that Elizabeth felt for Jamie was described so perfectly and beautifully. It re-confirmed for me just how lucky and blessed I am to have been given the gift of my little boy and that even though my Mom never met my son, she hasn't missed a thing. I'm sorry to mix up my emotions with those of the characters in the book but that's how it got me!
I was SO into this book, that I couldn't put it down and it was another one that had me rushing home from work, wanting to get back to it, although I'd read it in just a couple of nights because I loved it so much. This is a book that deserves to be read by everybody, such an enjoyable read - I'm sure you can tell by now that I absolutely loved it. There was one particular part (which Daniela knows) where I found myself unable to breathe with the emotions that it stirred up for me. What an glorious writer she is to be able to do that to someone, through the power of her words!
An amazing debut novel from this magnificient writer who I am sure is going to be a massive success with, I hope, many more novels on the way in the future.