A little while ago I saw a tweet from a fellow blogger, Charlie at Our Altered Life offering the first chapter of her new book for free. On a whim, I decided to give it a go; it looked like it might be interesting.
That first chapter blew me away. In all honesty, it was just amazing and I was absolutely delighted when she offered me a chance to read the whole book for review before its release on 29th September. I will be hosting a guest blog from Charlie later this week.
The book is about Charlie’s experience of having twin boys – which sounds like a fairly straightforward story, except that one of her boys was born with half of his face undeveloped. This news is broken to her in the first chapter, and the rest of the book details what has followed in the years since.
At first I was a little wary; I’m not a fan of the “tragic life story” genre of books, and there are a lot of people out there who call themselves writers but don’t seem to have the most basic grasp of the English Language. As it happens, my wariness was completely unfounded; this book is nothing short of amazing.
What could so easily have been a whiney, “woe-is-me” story about a woman whose experience of motherhood has been about as “altered” as one can get, it’s not. It’s a strangely uplifting and funny story – but also brutally honest. Charlie doesn’t pull any punches; she sugar coats nothing and even when it might show her in a less-than-supermum light, she tells it as it is.
This is one of those books that kept me up late reading and had me both laughing and crying – sometimes on the same page. It’s a very real story and something to which any parent could relate. Charlie has dealt with – and is dealing with – something I think is considered the worst nightmare for many parents. When we’re expecting we all say “oh, as long as it’s healthy…” but what if your child is not healthy? What if your child is born with no eye, no nose, no ear? I love that she is so incredibly honest about her feelings and doesn’t try to gloss over how utterly devastating it was to find that her twins had not been born “perfect.”
Right from the very beginning I was hooked with this story. I didn’t really know Charlie very well before reading it, so I didn’t know how the story would end. I don’t want to include too many details here because I really don’t want to spoil the experience for other readers. In all honesty this was one of the best books I’ve read this year and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Our Altered Life is released on September 29th. You can download the first chapter for free here.