Wednesday 18 April 2018

Guest Review: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.

She's only a few months past the heart transplant that - just in time - saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point and she wants to find her father.
Have her friends left her behind?
And she's felt so helpless for so long that she's let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. She barely knows where to start on her own.

Then there's Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn't make it. And now she's supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart. 

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Review: This is the second novel I have read from Stephanie Butland. I thoroughly enjoyed her last book, Lost for Words, and was looking forward to reading this one. The subject area sounded interesting and unusual. 

The story concerns 28-year-old Alisa Rae. Born with a heart defect, her life has been a long series of hospital stays and operations until a transplant has become her only hope. When, miraculously, a match is found and she has a new heart and hope for the future, she has to adapt to a way of life that she has never known before. It almost seems overwhelming to have choices where there were none before. However, this change brings with it its own problems. Her mother, who has been through all of the past difficulties with her from birth is also faced with new challenges as she now has to allow Alisa to make her own way in life. For many years, Alisa has written a blog documenting her day-to-day life.  She has also used the blog to help her decide on all sorts of issues through the opinions of her followers. Once she is well and has so many opportunities open to her, can she, and should she, relinquish her dependence on her social media friends? 

I found this a moving and thought-provoking story of a girl coping with an enormous change in her life, told with a fair amount of humour that balances out the serious nature of the topic. As well as a tale of someone recovering from a life threatening situation, there is friendship and romance. The narrative does flit around a bit, from past to present, and blog post to email, making it difficult for me to follow at times. However, it does bring home the message that organ donation is an important choice for us all and that having a transplant is not the end of the journey. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US 

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