Nothing Else by Louise Beech – Blog Tour

A huge thanks to Anne Cater for organising this tour and to Louise Beech and Orenda Books for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

The multiple bestselling and award-winning author returns with an exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma and the unbreakable bond between sisters; a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything.

Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.

But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather
never saw her again.

When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

My Thoughts

Louise Beech is the most beautiful writer I have ever read and I love to savour every word that she writes. 

Nothing Else is a beautiful story of the strength of sibling love, the journey to heal from trauma and the power of music.  Louise writes with a lyrical and elegant style which washed over me as I read – just like music does.  It lifted my heart, gave me goosebumps and tears and left me haunted and bereft at times.  I do not know how Louise evokes these feelings with words – it’s a talent so rare and wonderful.  Maybe it’s because every story, including this one, is steeped in her own experiences and she truly writes from the heart – giving the characters a voice as they guide her stories. 

Through a series of flashbacks, entwined with present day narrative, Louise tells us the story of sisters Heather and Harriet who were separated as children and grew up apart. 

As children, the girls lived with violence and to escape, they found solitude in playing music together (when father was not home) and discovered they had an aptitude for it.  When tragedy strikes, the girls are all each other have left and this tests and strengthen their relationship until one day Harriet disappears. 

In the present day, Heather is playing piano on a cruise ship, using music to maintain her links with her sister and her past but also being held back slightly due to these links. 

The sisterly bond is portrayed so intensely that you can feel it.  The poignant story of the girls will take your breath away and leave you haunted for a long time afterwards.  Using music as the thread that weaves everything together is especially emotive and works really well.  I could almost imagine Louise’s fingers nimbly dancing over the keyboard in time with the music as she wrote this.     

A haunting, but beautiful story of sisterhood, music and healing.

Author Bio – Louise Beech

All six of Louise Beech’s books have been digital bestsellers. Her novels have been a Guardian
Readers’ Choice, shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize, and shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull. Follow her on Twitter @louisewriter

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