Tuesday, 14 January 2020

#BlogTour Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie.
About the Author
Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that: it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.) as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead. When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel.

Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.

Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It's often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them - even if she's reduced to an immovable heap after they've gone.

As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.

What else can she say?  Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate…
She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

Follow Alex Craigie on GoodreadsBuy Someone Close to Home

About the book
Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon. But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people. Just how far will Annie go?

It's hard to imagine what it must be or feel like to be entirely dependent on other people and physically unable to move or communicate with anyone, and yet be aware of your surroundings at the same time. No power. Exposed to everything and everyone.

The reader experiences the vulnerability, the fear and the anger of Megan. We see it and hear it through her eyes, as a woman in a care facility trapped in her own body. Some of the carers are nice. They take the time to interpret her grunts and noises, but there are some that don't, and others who just enjoy being sadistic.

The story moves from present to past as Megan retreats into the depths of her mind and her memories to survive the hopeless situation she finds herself in. We experience her as the child, the young woman, the musical prodigy, and slowly learn which events led to her living in a care home.

Craigie really gets down to the nitty-gritty of what it's like for the elderly and the more vulnerable in our society, and sheds a light on the loopholes in the care system. Lack of responsibility and accountability combined with overworked staff contribute to many becoming victims - victims who can neither defend themselves or tell anyone what is happening to them. This is most poignant aspect of the story.

I'll admit part of me was hoping the author would end the story the way it progressed for the majority of the book, because it is so close to reality and the truth hurts. It won't do anyone any harm to have their eyes opened to what it feels like to be vulnerable and absolutely powerless.

It's a domestic thriller - a tense, emotional and gripping read.

Buy Someone Close to Home at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ashford Carbonel Publishing, pub date 9 Dec. 2016. Buy at Amazon com.

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