#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – “Someone Close to Home” by Alex Craigie

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing one of the nicest people I’ve met online, Alex Craigie. Alex (a/k/a Trishthetrout) is sharing a lovely review of her book, Someone Close to Home. This book sounds so good, I can’t wait to read it, and I know many of you will feel the same way. Enjoy the review, and please don’t forget to share it on all your favorite social media sites! Thanks!

REVIEW:

WordsAPlenty – charla white
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMAZING MUST READ

Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie is amazing!  Megan Youngblood is a young girl with a domineering and manipulating mother who is seeking to climb the social ladder by any means.  Megan is a talented pianist who grows her talent and becomes renowned, earning money and fame.  All she needs is Gideon, but life takes a turn.  We are given a front row seat to the emotional and physical roller coaster ride that is Megan’s life after a stroke places her in a nursing home at the hands of a vengeful and vicious victim of her mother’s evil plotting.

Written as a memoir, Someone Close to Home is captivating as the reader moves from memory to the present and back.  Craigie skillfully places her readers into the story through the strong character developments and ease in which the dialog and plot move.  Without realizing it, I cheered at Jordan’s departure; I cried at the pain of Megan; I slapped my chair at Theo’s dressing down by Gideon; Martin’s subsequent impact on Annie; and when I closed the book at the end of the last sentence I cried. 

This is a beautifully written book, mixing thriller with memoir style writing. I have not had so many different reactions to one book ever.  Craigie has done what every author wants – transported their reader into a powerful, creative story and let them experience the book completely on many different levels.  There are several different characters in this book that are incredibly remarkable.

If you are looking for a book that holds your attention and elicits passionate responses from its readers, this is the book!  I cannot highly recommend this book enough.  I was truly surprised at how it captured and held my attention and continued well past the last page – and I absolutely hate to cry!   

BLURB:

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

Buy Someone Close to Home HERE


Author Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that:

  • it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back
  • the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.)      
  • as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel. Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.

Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.  

As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.

What else can she say?  Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate… 

She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

You can reach her by email: alex@alexcraigie.co.uk

#ShareAReviewDay – Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie

This morning, it is my pleasure to welcome Alex Craigie to The Write Stuff. Alex is sharing a recent review of her novel Someone Close to Home, and I know you are going to enjoy reading this one. Hope you’ll pass this along far and wide, as we always do with these reviews. Thank you! 🙂

REVIEW:
Goodreads:
Jun 25, 2018 Judith Barrow rated it 5 Stars 

It’s been quite a while since I read a book in one go but I couldn’t put this one down. Someone Close to Home sent me through a whole range of emotions; delight, sadness, anger, joy, frustration. And this is a debut novel! The writing style of Alex Craigie is sophisticated, emotive and empathetic.

The start of the story grabbed me straightaway: the image of the protagonist, Megan, watching “each minuscule judder of the hand (of the clock)”, her immobility and her thoughts on her childhood, especially of her selfish and destructive mother who Megan loathed – still loathes, is compulsive reading. There is one sentence that foreshadows all that happens as the story continues: ‘This is all down to my mother… she’s been dead for over thirty years now and still she’s poisoning my life.”

This is a story of two halves: the time that Megan is in the badly-run care home, which lasts around six months and is told in present tense, mainly through the internal dialogue of the protagonist, and the whole of her childhood and younger life.told in past tense as flashbacks. The latter leads the reader inexorably to the point where Megan is lying helpless after suffering a stroke. She is at the mercy of mostly inattentive carers, poorly paid and resentful. Their actions, the way they carry out their tasks on Megan is described simply by her; they are tasks done to her, sometimes carefully, sometimes without heed. And then there is the carer, Annie… I’ll say no more.

The description of the protagonist’s days evoke the dreariness. The word, “waiting” is repeated so many times that I, as the reader, also waited with Megan, knowing, with some dread, that something awful will happen.

The main characters: Gideon (childhood friend and later the man she loves. Claire, her true friend in later life, Jordan, Megan’s husband, egotistical actor and a cruel man, Theo and Camilla, her greedy and selfish children), are many layered and well portrayed; their dialogue identifies them immediately. And, although there are many flat characters, in the guise of the carers and the owner of the care home, the author also gives them distinguishable voices.

The descriptions of the settings give a good sense of place. The room Megan is lying in is told in meticulous but confined detail. We see the limited view she has, and only that. (it did give me a sense of claustrophobia, I must admit.). There is “the sturdy chest of drawers topped with shapes that will become a television and some framed photographs”as “the heavy grey light” “pushes into the room” after a long sleepless night”. We hear “the rattle of trolleys” that she knows is “laden with clean and soiled bedding”, the “insistent buzzing” of room bells, the “moans, shouts and cussing from room nearby punctuated by the chivying of staff”. We feel her pain through the roughness of the care, the threat of bed sores. And the details of the places in her childhood, the houses she lived in, countries she visited as a professional pianist, are full of evocative imagery.

It’s a plot that moves at an even pace but, ultimately, it’s also one that took me by surprise. Even closely following the actions of the characters in the story still didn’t prepare me for the ending.

Someone Close to Home by Alex Craigie is a book I thoroughly recommend to any reader.

BLURB:

“The book is brilliant. It reads like a memoir and grips like great fiction should – beautiful characterization”
   Viga Boland – Author – No Tears For My Father

Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?


Author Alex Craigie
(Pen Name of Trish Power)

Born in Sunderland, in the north of England, Alex Craigie (the pen name of author Trish Power) has drifted southwards finally coming to rest over thirty years ago in a peaceful village between Pembroke and Tenby in south west Wales.

She lives in an old, draughty house with stone walls 2’ thick and knows she’s really lucky to have all her children and grandchildren living close by. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.

When not writing, reading or simply enjoying the rural life, she’s in the garden waging a war of attrition against the brambles that are encouraged in the hedges for birds to nest in, vicious nettles that support a variety of butterflies, and bindweed that looks lovely but doesn’t share nicely with the other plants.

She hasn’t inherited the ‘pleasure in housework’ gene.

She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

Buy Someone Close to Home US HERE
Buy Someone Close to Home UK HERE

Reach Alex on Social Media Here:
Email: alex@alexcraigie.co uk
Amazon Author Page US 
Amazon Author Page UK
Goodreads