Beauty & Lace Book Review:
Ache - Eliza Henry-Jones
I have seen this book across my social media on many occasions and was glad to be given the opportunity to read a copy of it recently.
The story centres around Annie, who is married to Tom, and has a six-year-old daughter named Pip.
A year ago, a bushfire ripped through the mountains where Annie grew up.
Her mother's home was partially destroyed, and her beloved grandmother Gladys was killed when a tree toppled over, pinning her underneath. The entire close-knit community was affected.
Annie and Pip were there when the tragic events of that day panned out, but they managed to escape unscathed. However, a year on, and they are still both traumatised by the things they witnessed on that fateful day.
When Annie receives a call from her Uncle Len letting her know that her mother isn't coping well, Annie makes the decision to return back to the mountains, quitting her job at a vet clinic in the city, and taking Pip with her. She is hoping that the move back to the mountains will allow them both to begin to heal.
As the story continues, we are given a real insight into what the community experienced on the day of the bushfire; the lives, the homes, and the animals that were lost.
The effects the bushfire has had on all of the residents and wildlife in the area is described exceptionally well.
The trauma of the bushfire presents itself in many forms. In Annie's case, she experiences flashbacks, sleepwalking and nightmares.
Young Pip regresses and insists on being called "Phillip". She wets the bed and lashes out at those trying to help her. And Annie's artist mother, Susan, isn't able to paint anymore, and instead spends her days baking dozens upon dozens of cupcakes. It is as though the bushfire has robbed these individuals of a piece of themselves in their hearts, their minds, and their being.
Eliza has done a remarkable job of portraying grief in many different forms. It is clearly evident that she has a background in grief and trauma counselling. She captures the way that it can become all-consuming and affect the way that we treat others and ourselves.
But this is also a book about having the courage to face the things that we don't think are possible.
If you are after a happy story, then this isn't it, although there are some funny parts woven in.
But please don't let that deter you, as Ache is a riveting story of hope, and of learning to pick up the pieces again, and it definitely deserves all of the praise that it has been getting.
Have you read Ache? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Ache through Beauty And Lace in exchange for an honest review. To read the original review on the Beauty & Lace website, you can head here
All opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way. I was not paid for this review.