I made great use of the total lockdown period by listening to each chapter of The Reluctant Mother, recorded by the talented Marie-Pierre Voice. This was a new experience for me. I had to read the novel at the same time to ensure the recording followed the print version, and my publisher had to do the same, too.
I must admit, that occasionally, it felt like I was listening to a Radio 4 play – Marie’s voice is so beautiful to hear. As I wrote the book a few years ago, I had forgotten certain aspects of the story, which made me drift into being a listener instead of the author checking for required corrections! The hours of work which goes into recording a book is immense, and I am in admiration of narrators everywhere.
The book blurb: Postnatal psychosis strips Colette of her early time with her baby, shreds her sanity, and almost destroys her marriage. When suicide seems the only option, Colette must face her limitations and move forward with demons clinging to every aspect of her life, whilst desperately trying to hold on to what she dearly loves.
The chapters are narrated by Colette and Finn – wife and husband. Marie manages to read both with individual voices and uses the perfect voice for Finn’s mother – reminiscent of Margaret Rutherford, in my mind. Fun fact – I am hopeless at impressions, and Margaret Rutherford is the only voice I can do – ‘A handbag?’ from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.
Audiobooks are wonderful to listen to when travelling, doing household chores, lying in bed or lying in the garden. My hubs enjoys listening to them while doing the washing up. I must say that I listened to Hard Times by Charles Dickens, when I wasn’t enjoying reading the book – shame on me, I know.
Here are a couple of reviews of The Reluctant Mother to hopefully wet your appetite.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 October 2017
Masterfully written, this book draws the reader into the stigmatising and life changing world of mental illness. Each main character has their own narrative and their own way of coping. Realistic, powerful & highly recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 October 2018
Have you ever read a book that is so painful to read and yet is so beautifully written that you find you can’t put it down?
This book is that for me. Colette’s story is the hardest thing in the world to read if you have ever suffered with postnatal issue, but do you know what I would say even if you haven’t it is a book I would really recommend as it is a beautifully written insight into what is the one of the darkest time in a woman’s life. I am struggling to put into words just how much this story touched me so please bear with me. This is a book that will forever have a place in my heart, a book that broke my heart in someways and yet fixed it in others. If you want to know just what I mean I would have to say read it as it really is a more than five star read in my opinion.