Saturday 29 May 2021

#BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin


It's my turn on the BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin. It's truly an incredibly moving story. From the Not the Booker shortlisted author of Not Thomas comes the kind of book you never forget.

About the Author

Sara Gethin grew up in Llanelli. She has a degree in Religion and Ethics in Western Thought and worked as a primary school teacher in Carmarthenshire and Berkshire. Writing as Wendy White, she has had four children’s books published, and the first of these won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. 

Her debut novel, Not Thomas, was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize and The Waverton Good Read Award. While west Wales is still home, Sara spends much of her time in Ireland. Emmet and Me is her second novel for adults.  Follow @SGethinWriter on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

Summer 1966: When her father comes home with lipstick on his collar, ten-year-old Claire’s life is turned upside down. Her furious mother leaves the family and heads to London, and Claire and her brothers are packed off to Ireland, to their reclusive grandmother at her tiny cottage on the beautifully bleak coast of Connemara.

A misfit among her new classmates, Claire finds it hard to make friends until she happens across a boy her own age from the school next door. He lives at the local orphanage, a notoriously harsh place. Amidst half-truths, lies and haunting family secrets, Claire forms a forbidden friendship with Emmet ‒ a bond that will change both their lives forever.


Sometimes you get a book that has the capacity to smash your heart into a million pieces. I think given the extraordinary circumstances of the past year and a half there will be more open ears and eyes to this story. Dancing with fear, existential worries and our own mortality, and especially because many of us have been forced into spending time with our own thoughts, this story will perhaps garner more of an audience.

It is certainly deserving of it. It's power doesn't draw energy from gruesome details, but rather from the inferred burden of reality. The contempt, the neglect, the hunger, the abuse, the pain and the deaths. The generations of damaged children grown into broken adults. Who bears the guilt, shame or even the moral bill for these heinous acts? Why does the truth still fall on deaf ears and blind eyes even after so many years and testimonies? 

When their family is torn apart by a mother who puts herself first and a father who has been defined by cruelty, Claire and her brothers are sent to Ireland to live with their paternal grandmother. It's there that they learn how generations of adults were molded by sadistic neglect, families destroyed and how it in turn will change them forever too. 

The brilliance of Gethin's story is built within the sparse confines of subtlety and scarcity. The bare landscape, the isolation, the lack of anyone to turn to due to the ingrained indoctrination of religious authority, and the simple gestures and interactions of children.

I remember the sinking feeling of sorrow during the first scene between Claire and Emmet. Knowing even then that fantasy was an escape, conversation a gateway and the friendship a possible glimmer of hope in a preordained future. I knew what would come, and the fact the author was able to convey all of that without actually writing any of it, is a testament to her talent as a storyteller.

I loved it. I think it is an incredibly moving story. It's also a moment of truth, vindication and validation. The voices of many, the silenced and the forgotten, are held within the lines of this multi-generational experience.

Buy Emmet and Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Honno Presspub date 20 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

No comments:

Post a Comment