the mountain in my shoe

The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech

There's both a gentleness and a harshness to this mystery, a combination Beech handles with deftness. 

She must have encountered some difficulty with the way the novel begins - two seemingly unrelated people go missing at the same time - and the truth is that it was nearly impossible for me as a reader not to instantly try to make connections in my mind. I tried to hold true to the spirit in which it was presented and not do this, though perhaps my effort was too earnest and the author didn't have such high expectations. 

In any case, it doesn't much matter. Whether there's connections or not isn't the primary point of the story - the primary point, for me, is how the relationships we have with other people affect us and our behavior. These influences may take years but eventually our love for our companions will change how we treat them, other people, and ourselves. 

Beech's inclusion of Muhammad Ali was a lovely twist and once again illustrates to me that I need to learn more about this fascinating man. 

Orenda Books gave me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this, my first experience with the author. Advanced isn't the correct descriptive here since the book came out here in the States back in December. Even though I do not normally request or accept ARCs once the release date has passed, I was too intrigued by the synopsis to pass this one up. I was rewarded with a lovely story that differs from otherwise similar mysteries with humble and unique elements. Beech is now on my radar!