Today it’s my turn on the book tour for Carla Christian’s debut novel The Things I Want To Say But Can’t with Love Books Tours. Thank you so much to both the author and Love Books Tours for my gifted ebook.
I wanted to let readers know of the trigger warnings in this book, so apologies in advance if these act as a spoiler, but I didn’t feel able to review the book without mentioning them.
The blurb …
‘A lifetime of endings, a million goodbyes. None of them right. It’s funny what you remember when you’ve got nothing else to think about. All those things you should’ve said while you had the chance. You never learned, did you? You never, ever learned.’
Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind.
Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right.
Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.
My review …
I found this book very tricky to review because the writing is incredible but the storyline and tone of the book is so devastating that it doesn’t feel right to say I ‘enjoyed’ it, as such, but it is a highly compelling and fascinating story.
Belle takes us with her as she travels back and forth in time, telling the story of her life as a young girl, a teenager and then as a wife and mother. Belle has an unhappy childhood and suffers various losses throughout her life, the effects of which are to set Belle on to a path of self destruction.
This story is a powerful and emotional examination of Belle’s inner thoughts, feelings and experiences. As such there is very little dialogue between the characters but instead takes the form of beautifully perceptive, descriptive writing. I felt surrounded by Belle’s pain and sadness as she takes us on her journey to breaking point.
There were parts of the story that were harrowing to read as Belle becomes involved in an abusive relationship. This is where a major trigger warning comes into effect as I don’t feel you would want to read this book, if you have been a victim of domestic violence yourself. The scenes of violence were upsetting but not gratuitous and Belle’s feelings and actions were written sensitively and with empathy and show the complexities of such relationships. The story then goes on to deal with themes of mental illness, suicide, eating disorders, alcoholism and substance abuse, which sounds like overkill but they were all necessary to the plot and well written.
This really is a thought provoking and hard hitting read which will keep you guessing right to the end and beyond. I can tell that the author has poured her heart and soul into this book. It really is an incredible piece of writing.
About the author …
Carla Christian lives in the Lake District in the North of England. A busy working mum of two teenagers, she has a passion for writing, art and travel, and these interests have been a part of her for as long as she can remember.
Constantly inspired by both the good and the bad in the world around her, she spends much of her time creating in one way or another; be it painting canvases for the blank walls of her new home, sketching pictures to capture memories of the many travel adventures she’s been lucky enough to go on, baking fantastical cakes with her daughter, or writing endless beginnings to a million unfinished stories.
The Things I Want To Say But Can’t is her first novel.