It is such an honour to be kicking off Catherine’s blog tour today for her newest book; ‘All That Is Left Of Us’! Before I make you cry again with my review, Catherine (sorry!), I just want to say a huge thank you for personally asking me to be on your tour, as well as giving me the honour to kick your tour off. I’m incredibly humbled.
Lets get the show on the road! Or the words on the post…whichever floats your boat….ahem.
Dawn loves being a mother. No matter how Archie came into her life, or the fact he’s a little different from other children, he is precious and loved. He is hers, after all. Especially because she’s never told anyone who the father of her son is.
So when Dawn’s twin brother David and his wife Rebekah are struggling to have their own child, Dawn agrees to become their surrogate, as it is the one thing she can do to help.
However, creating the perfect family doesn’t always go to plan and when Dawn realises just how much her nephew needs his mother, she begins to wonder if the time has finally come to confront the past she has kept secret for so long.
From the author of Waiting for You comes a story of friendship, motherhood and hope.
What does TWG think?
Is there such a thing as the ‘perfect family’? One might have grown up in the era that saw the mum, dad and two children combination, and may class THAT as perfect. But what if the family consists of one parent, and one child? The child being ‘different’ from others his age, having specific ways of doing things as well as having no idea who his father is. Is that perfect? Bit of a daft question isn’t it? Who are we to judge where ‘perfect families’ are concerned, Dawn doesn’t. After all, she is the one living the single life with her child not many people can understand, but she loves him. He’s her son and that in itself is perfect. A perfect family is your family, whether that is biologically, or via other means; but it can take a pretty perfect person to volunteer their womb to fulfil another families dream. If only it was as straight forward as that. Is hope ‘All That Is Left Of Us’?
Catherine Miller is back with yet another intense and thought-provoking read, one I had high hopes for given the bar she had set with the previous novel.
As soon as the book starts, we meet Dawn, bump and a very excited sister-in-law getting themselves prepared for the upcoming birth. Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? It isn’t. Dawn’s twin brother and wife have been through multiple heartaches and unfortunately, the chance of them becoming pregnant are incredibly slim. That’s why Dawn has stepped in, she is being a surrogate for her brother and is pretty close to giving birth to her brother and his wife’s baby.
I must admit, I am in awe of surrogacy; it is such a selfless thing to do and I cannot imagine the amount of inner strength you would need to be able to fulfil the duty at the end. When the circumstances surrounding the new baby go a bit oopsy daisy, I share Dawn’s train of thought and my liking for Rebekah went down a notch.
I was gripped by this book from the very beginning, there was something so warm and enticing about Catherine’s writing of the situation, I felt as though it would be rude of me not to venture into the realm of ‘All That Is Left Of Us’. I felt as though I had got taken on a journey with every chapter being like a little village; opening my eyes to intense situations and beautiful personalities of the characters. Multiple times I was taken aback by the rawness that surfaced in Catherine’s words. To read about how much hurt and anguish one person has faced over the years and kept it under lock and key is one thing, but to read about a child struggling to understand himself, nevermind others, really took my breath away. I sat staring at the pages of the book in complete awe of the strong message that was coming through the words, they left me quite emotional. Well, quite is an understatement if I’m honest.
Usually, to get me quite emotional and less of an ice queen, books need to have something rather damaging happen that can easily be pinpointed afterwards. But this book didn’t, there wasn’t just one set event or situation that I can say ‘well this part had me more emotional than that part’. It caught me off guard. I have never experienced a book to have such a hold on me emotionally, and physically, as ‘All That Is Left Of Us’ did. The book contains multiple poignant and relatable situations that will no doubt have many readers crying because they can see themselves in the story. It also has powerful characters that will show you that it is okay to feel the way that you do with a baby, that it is okay to grieve over heartache, and that it is OKAY to be you…different.
I am actually tearing up writing this review, dafty I know. I just cannot get over how one authors words can create such a powerful, moving, eye opener of a story. When you go to read this book, make sure you’re comfortable and that you have copious amounts of chocolate with you when you begin reading as it will take you on a rollercoaster ride (and even stop at the zoo!).
‘All That Is Left Of You’ is an emotional work of art which emphasises the power behind love and life, as well as celebrating YOU for who YOU are, regardless of what differences you may have. Catherine Miller writes with such feeling and warmth, it is hard not to be drawn into the comfort of her words, knowing you will be safe wherever they may take you.
An extraordinary, memorable read that will open your eyes to devastating, yet life changing moments.
‘All That Is Left Of Us’ is a book that I will never forget because, as of right now, it is all that is left of me.
‘All That Is Left Of Us’ by Catherine Miller, published by Carina, is published 15th September 2016 and is available to pre-order right now from Amazon UK