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Monday, 9 April 2018

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae @under_blue_sky

About The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

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.

My review of The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae

Oh where do I start with this review? Other than to say that I adored this book! What an absolute delight to read. From the very first page I felt as if I knew Ailsa Rae and that we had been friends for many years. From that moment on I just knew that I would love this book. It's a story about a young woman redefining her life, learning to live once more and finding out who she is. This is such a joyous life affirming read that made me both laugh and cry, just as every book should.

This book worked so well for me, as I both believed in, and liked, Ailsa Rae. She has such a strong voice that I could hear her loud and clear in my head. She is a woman who has lived a half life, full of low expectations structured by hospital routines, tests and operations. So, having a new heart should be the start of a fabulous new life, a new and happy beginning. But, life is never as easy as that, is it? For starters, she has no idea who she is meant to be, and I completely understood this. What must it be like to be looked after, cared for, deemed as fragile? to then be thrown into an ordinary and robust life? I have no idea, but this novel gave a glimpse into this type of life. We often read about people getting new hearts, but we can never truly appreciate what this must feel like for them, and the range of emotions that they must go through. This book gives that insight.

The novel is about finding out who you are and your place in the world. It's also a huge statement on the Internet age and the world of social forums and blogs. Ailsa uses her blog, during the pre op stage, to help her make decisions. Her readers are her friends, but when she gets her new heart she must decide how much she really wants to rely upon the virtual world, and to instead, learn to trust in the kindness of family and those who love her.

This is also a beautiful love story on so many different levels. Her love for Lennox, her first love, and how that love for him morphs and adapts with the passing of time. It's also about parental love, and how this relationship changes when Ailsa gets her new heart. It is also about self love, and how Ailsa must learn to love her new self.

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is an emotive and joyous read. It is such a beautiful book. A bold story that is gently told.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley who provided an Advanced Reader Copy for review purposes.

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is published by Bonnier Zaffre on 19 April 2018. It can be found on Amazon here.

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