Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid
Released 10th May 2012
Paperback 288 pages
'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I'd had to give in ... I'd been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.'
How would you feel if your twin sister died suddenly? Particularly if she was the beautiful one and you were horribly disfigured.
And how would it feel to be alone now if you and your sister were the only ones to know the truth about what takes place behind closed doors at home?
And what would you do if it was your parents who brought danger and terror into your life? Would you dare reveal how your sister died?
And would you be brave enough to find an escape of your own?
Black Heart Blue is a powerful novel about the domestic horrors that can unfold within a small community - and one girl's quest to stand up for the truth.
When picking up this book I had never heard of the author let alone the book and simply picked it up a) because I was drawn to the cover and b) there was an offer in my local supermarket of three books for £10 and I needed one more to make up my three. Given that, I began the book with no expectations.
The story revolves around twin sisters, Rebecca and Heph. Rebecca narrates the story from after the death of her siblings, while Heph narrates up until her death, giving the reader the opportunity to get to know both sisters. Heph is the beautiful and popular twin, while Rebecca, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome, is treated like a disfigured outcast and they both have very different outlooks on life. They live with their parents in a small town, their mother a housewife and their father a deeply passionate vicar.
The love that these siblings have for each other is clear throughout and, despite everything, it leaves you feeling uplifted that no matter what they go through, what happens to them and what is done to them, they will always love and support each other. In a book that if filled with themes ranging from sexual abuse, domestic violence, death, mental and physical abuse of children and so much more, it is a credit to the author that she has managed to write a book that gives you a positive feeling at the end, while pushing these themes in your face and forcing you to really think about it all.
I don’t want to go into the story too much as it will spoil it for you. I believe that this book isn’t for the fainthearted and does contain things that can be very hard to read at times, even though it is classed as being in the ‘young fiction’ genre. Yes, I know Twilight and The Hunger Games also fall into this genre and they too are dark and emotional, but Black Heart Blue isn’t a fantasy it is about real life events that could have happened to anyone or could be happening to anyone right now.
With that being said, this is a truly fascinating book and I was gripped from start to finish. If you are looking for a gritty and emotional story then I would highly recommend this book to you.
I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what else Louisa Reid has in store for us.
Until next time, keep reading x