My blog tour post for my stop on the blog tour for ’11 Missed Calls’ is different to the majority of my posts in that it comes in two parts. The first part (this part) contains my review and the second part contains an extract from the book to give you a taste of what to expect when you pick up the book for yourselves.
Here are two things I know about my mother:
1. She had dark hair, like mine.
2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.
Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.
But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.
Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.
And then a body is found…
I have been a fan of Elisabeth’s since I read her debut novel ’99 Red Balloons’ and so I was pleased to hear that she had another book (’11 Missed Calls’) coming up for release. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I managed to get a copy and I eagerly began to read. My oh my am I pleased that I did. I absolutely loved reading ’11 Missed Calls’ but more about that in a bit.
I must admit that I both took to and felt sorry for Anna in equal measure. Not long after Anna was born, her mother, Debbie, simply vanishes into ‘thin air’. The family has no idea where she has gone or if she went willingly. I felt for Anna because she desperately misses her mother. Anna started a scrapbook with mementos of her mother to keep her memory fresh. I did think that perhaps Anna had an idealised view of her mother. The rest of the family don’t appear to be that willing to discuss what happened. An e-mail arrives which is allegedly from Debbie. This only serves to strengthen Anna’s resolve to find her mother. Anna needs answers and she needs them now. Her father doesn’t seem to want to talk about Debbie and he clams up when she mentions Debbie. Anna has more luck talking to Monica, her father’s second wife and former wife of his best friend. Secrets and skeletons start tumbling out of the closet and it’s safe to say that life is never going to be the same.
I was literally hooked on this book from the moment I picked it up and began to read. The story isn’t particularly fast paced and it is a bit of a slow burn but this so works with a story like this. The book is very well written and the story is told from two different points of view and from two different periods of time. One point of view is that of Debbie and her chapters look at what happened in the run up to her disappearance in 1986. The other point of view looks at things from Anna’s point of view and is written in the present day. I have probably made it sound more confusing that it really is. The chapters written from Debbie’s and Anna’s points of view interlink really well and the story flows seamlessly.
The characters are well conceived and Elisabeth writes about them in such a way that they seem to spring to life and seem very realistic. I loved the way in which the characters all seem to be hiding something or not exactly telling the full truth. I couldn’t understand though why Anna’s father clammed up whenever Debbie was mentioned. However that said, I realised that this was her father’s way of coping with things. Peter is a man of a particular age, who finds it embarrassing to be discussing his emotions. It’s often easier for such personalities to keep absolutely schtum rather than discuss emotions and opening a whole can of worms.
I picked up ’11 Missed Calls’ only intending to read a couple of chapters but that intention soon flew out of the window. The first time I looked up from the book I was surprised and a little bit shocked to realise that I had actually read well over 24 chapters and I had cleared a fair chunk of the book. I was so into the story and enjoying the writing style so much that I hadn’t realised how quickly I was getting through the book. For me, ’11 Missed Calls’ really is a ‘CPID’ (can’t put it down) and a real page turner of a book. The book wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. I found it extremely hard to break off from reading the book and if I had to put it down, I was counting down the time until I could pick it up again. I even begrudged having to take my two Labradors out which as you can imagine did not go down well. I binge read the book over the course of a couple of days, which certainly helped to increase the tension levels and the sense of drama. Reading ’11 Missed Calls’ was much like riding on a slightly scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride, with moments that hit you like a punch to the gut and other moments that you so don’t see coming.
To conclude it’s fair to say that I absolutely loved reading ’11 Missed Calls’. I thought that Elisabeth’s first book was good but this book just blows ’99 Red Balloons’ out of the water and is easily my favourite book of hers so far. I have a feeling that her books are just going to get better and better. I can’t wait to read what comes next from Elisabeth Carpenter. Fortunately I don’t have too long to wait because her next book ‘Only A Mother’ is due for release on 27th December 2018. I would definitely recommend Elisabeth and her books to other readers. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board just has to be 5* out of 5*.