Author: Clare Marshall
Published: November 2011
Source: Review copy from author.
I hereby award this book 5 wings!
Let's start with the cover. Many words could be used to desribe the beauty that is this cover. My choice of word? Captivating!
I saw Clare on Twitter and this was her profile picture. I was absolutely awestruck because I think it is simply stunning! Well done Clare's partner Dave on an amazing job!
The book itself? Well I have to say, it is different from anything I have read before. It drew me in within just moments of the first word. It's a fast-paced, well written, page-turner of a book that I could not and would not put down. Yes, real life interrupted occasionally, but when there were not distractions, I was glued to this beautiful story.
WITHIN is a story about a girl called Trinity Hartell. Just a normal, pretty schoolgirl. She has the gorgeous boyfriend Zack, the sweet best friend Ellie, the hard-working parents. You would think Trinity has it all - and you wouldn't be wrong. That is until her life is turned upside-down and inside-out by an accident. Life then becomes a downhill spiral for the Hartell family. Their daughter is left with irreparable brain damage, making her act like someone much younger than her physical shell.
How will the Hartell's cope? Their only daughter has gone back to acting the way she did in her childhood. She sits and plays with dolls and colours in colouring books.
How will Zack cope with the loss of his girlfriend who no longer even knows his name?
How will Ellie cope with her best friend not recognising her any more?
Then Trinity suddenly takes up a crayon and a piece of paper. She starts to write in cursive writing like she did before the accident? She writes a story about a psychotic murderer. Could this be just the ramblings of a girl with brain damage? Or could this be something much more sinister?
This story moved me to tears. I was left mourning the loss of the Trinity that was once so full of vitality. I felt bad for the Hartell's for the loss of the daughter they once knew. But I think I felt most sorry for Zack and Ellie. Zack is such a sweet boy and loves Trinity so much. All he wants is for his girlfriend to recognise him. It broke my heart. As for Ellie, she was on a turmoil all of her own and I felt such a deep sympathy for her.
High praise indeed for Clare Marshall. This story was emotive, raw, moving, compelling and beautiful.
Thank you Clare for letting me read WITHIN. This is one book I would for sure love to have in paper back for my bookshelf at home.