Book Review: Black Heart Blue

Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid

The blurb: ‘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.

My review: Quick cover note – this book looks beautiful. The colours and the shiny pink umbrella really stand out – hard to picture from a 2D flat image but it’s gorgeous!

This is such a bittersweet, sad and tender book. Reid’s writing style is captivating, I couldn’t put this book down, I became 100% invested in what would happen to Rebecca. We learn that twin sisters, Rebecca and Hephzibah are the only children of the village Vicar and his wife. Never referred to as Mum or Dad but always as The Father and The Mother. This completely separates you from them as a reader, there’s a line in the sand, you’re never allowed to see things from their point of view (not that you’d want to!) and this places you firmly in the sister’s camp.

Louisa Reid handles the topic of what it is to be normal with finesse by highlighting life from the other side, for teenage girls that have been locked away and downtrodden their entire lives, normality seems to shine with the light of safety and rescue from the horrendous lives they have been subjected to. Even the simplest of things are scrutinized by The Father and punished. The girls win small victories but suffer major defeats. It’s the ability to hide this brutalism in front of society that’s so shocking about this book. As the village Vicar The Father has a pivotal role and is in the public eye but the monster he is underneath is well hidden. This is a hugely moving and emotional book. The latter half frequently had me in tears, especially at the kindness of others.  Not a cheerful read but an inspiring one. Very sad.

7.5 out of 10 stars! *******.5

BUY ME! Black Heart Blue

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