Sunday, March 05, 2017

Dare To Remember - Susanna Beard

Sent to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 01/02/17

Publisher: Legend Press

ISBN: 978-1785079115

Format: E-book, 288pp

Genre: Psychological Drama

Rating: 4/5

Summed up in a few words
Repression. Grief Management. Recovery. Memory.

First Impressions
Legend Press have been releasing plenty of amazing books recently and Dare To Remember is proof of that. It is important to talk openly about grief and how to manage it. Lives are affected by all kinds of tragedy and trauma; but you don't need to let it take your life away. Susanna Beard has written an intense, sharp and disturbing novel about a person backtracking into her own personal hell to get closure on her past. I recommend this book to all those who like a psychological edge to their fiction and those who enjoy a refreshing new perspective on a popular genre. Check out more of Legend Press' 2017 catalogue here:

Book Synopsis
Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.
However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?
As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along. (Official Legend Press Synopsis)
My Thoughts - Grief can freeze us in time, own us, destroy us. There is hope, there is also plenty of help.

Lisa Fulbrook experiences an array of true horrors life can throw at us all at once. Near death, loss of a friend, loss of a loved one and having the safety of her own home desecrated all at the same time. Once she is out of hospital, Lisa runs to the countryside to escape her previous life. The incident in which she almost died and lost a dear friend is locked away behind layers of grief. Only sudden flashbacks provide her with any detail of what truly happened that night.

Dare To Remember is an important novel. It addresses grief in all its forms. More importantly it shows us the huge spectrum of help available for those of us who are cornered by grief. From moving home, finding others sufferers, exercise and new experiences to facing the trauma in therapy and changing the dynamic in which we interact with others. I am lucky in my 26 years of life to never having to face trauma at this level and I am comforted to a certain degree that I know there are people who can help if I did indeed need it. 

Lisa's move to the countryside brings her little peace. The plot is centred around Lisa's life after the life changing trauma she faced. Moving into a quiet house, with an elderly neighbour, Taking on a dog and working from home, Lisa wants to separate herself from this sadistic world she now occupies, where someone can force themselves into your home and change your life forever. But life never slows down and Lisa comes to see that she is not the only person in the world who is suffering from grief, pain and emotional distress.

Dare To Remember is a well written novel. The writing is clear, flows nicely and the message is an important one. The pacing is hit and miss, I felt at times that it took too long to get to a certain point, while at others I felt the plot was going a mile a minute. The atmosphere around Lisa is one of negativity and suffering. Panic attacks control her life. Loss of courage and fortitude keep her from maintaining any relationships. But when a friend is forced up her in a time of need, she will earn to heal.

I thank Susanna Beard for writing this book because of its importance to those who think they are lost in the world with no one who cares. Dissecting grief, absolving yourself from feelings of guilt, friendship and consistent therapy can help a person heal, lose the label of victim and step into a new perspective. The themes are pretty clear in Dare To Remember, the tone gradually evolves into one of hope for a healthy mind and a new beginning.

I have given DTR 4/5 stars because of its message. I didn't care for the pacing but I did appreciate the content. If you enjoy plots centred around psychology and recovering from trauma then this book is definitely one you will appreciate. Susanna Beard is a master of atmosphere, reveals and recovery. True forgiveness is obtainable, but the path to it is a lengthy one so don't rush the mending process. 

Pick up a copy of Dare To Remember here: Legend Press/Amazon UK/Goodreads 

About the Author: I studied Linguistics before embarking on a long and fruitful career in PR and marketing. I've helped a multitude of clients promote everything from tourist destinations to cuddly toys and I've written in a myriad formats - news stories, articles, speeches, websites and blogs.

Having decided to become a novelist, I went to the wonderful Faber Academy in London and completed three courses: Start Your Novel in a Week with Louise Doughty, Get Going with Erica Wagner, and the six-month course, Writing a Novel, with Shelley Weiner. (see more at Author Bio)

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