Book Review: The Curious Heart Of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland


You’ll have noticed that I sometimes like to introduce these reviews with the blurb that either the publisher has sent me or that’s on the book cover.

Here’s another:

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 . . .

Isn’t that intriguing?

It was that blurb and the title that drew me to this book, which is the way it should be. And I wasn’t disappointed.

What an unusual thought-provoking book. From the second you open it and read the first page, it’s serious stuff. Ailsa, the heroine, is writing from the cardiothoracic unit and musing on the progressive failure of her own heart. Sounds grim, doesn’t it? But it’s remarkably fun at times. It’s touching in Ailsa’s relationship with Lennox, in her failing relationship with her own mum, in how her life turns around….I rattled through this because I genuinely cared about what happened next for Ailsa. Author Stephanie Butland is making a serious point with this, but it’s well wrapped up in a compelling narrative presented with a light touch. It’s a super read.

And Stephanie has written another super read, especially for “The People’s Friend” readers. It’s Dancing Back The Years and it’s in Special 159, on sale June 20. I loved this story, too, about a woman’s memories and general fandom of the Jesus And Mary Chain!

The Curious Heart Of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland is out now in Zaffre paperback.

 

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.

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