The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae — Stephanie Butland

Having really enjoyed Lost For Words, i soon added this, Stephanie’s second book, to ‘The Pile’ — and i’m really glad i did.

A great story about a heart transplant patient who spent the first 28 years of her life dying while first waiting to get onto the transplant queue and then having to wait for a suitable heart, all the while knowing that someone else has to die in order for her to survive.   And then, once she has her new, second hand heart, she then has to learn to live — not live again, but live for the first time.   How does one live a normal life when they’ve never had a normal life?

Mixed into this is the missing father thing, who did a runner when he found out his new born daughter was dying from a defective heart.   Then there’s the ex-boyfriend, dying from liver failure due to hepatitis, also needing for a transplant to save his life; the celebrity actor who needs a cornea transplant to save his eye; and plenty more besides, crammed perfectly into this little book.

What’s also good about this book is how Stephanie has brought the world of blogging into the story.   The story is half told through Ailsa’s blog posts which are interspersed throughout, which gives Ailsa’s character a much more genuine feel.

Here we are in a world crammed with social media, blogs, vlogs, posts, comments, polls, flame bait, click bait, trolls, likes, dislikes, etc., and i’m surprised to not find more books using these styles of communication within their narratives.   I think a lot of writers are a little worried to jump into this new way that humans have found expressing themselves, but Stephanie certainly got it right with Ailsa, and i hope to read more of this kind of story telling in the future.

And, just like Lost For Words, Stephanie throws in a nice little romance thing, and just like Lost For Words, i felt it was just the right amount for the story and never overdone.

So, my final view is that Stephanie is a really good writer and this book is really good.   Stephanie jumps bravely into the deep end of transplant issues and swims amazingly well bringing out the real issues being faced by all sides, donors, recipients, families, friends, life before, life after and other things besides.   And Stephanie manages to package all this into a really good, well written story.   It’s well worth a read.

I find Stephanie’s writing similar to Ruth Hogan’s, so if you like Ruth’s books then i’m sure you’ll enjoy Stephanie’s just as much, and vice versa too.

Stephanie’s Page

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The Woman in the Photograph — Stephanie Butland

I really enjoyed ‘Lost For Words’ and i’m really enjoying reading ‘The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae’, so i thought i may as well buy all of Stephanie’s book.

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The Other Half Of My Heart — Stephanie Butland

Apparently it’s a sequel to ‘Letters To My Husband’.

I really enjoyed ‘Lost For Words’, so i thought i may as well give some of Stephanie’s other books a go.

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Lost For Words – Stephanie Butland

A most lovely book in its own right, but especially if you like books about book shops.   If you do like books about book shops then this ones a good ‘un, it’s like a mix between ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’ and ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’.

But as well as being a lovely book in its own right, it really spoke to those of us who have been through the ‘Care of the Local Authority’ system (or at least it did to this one of those ‘us’).

And then there’s the added bonus that was all the Whitby stuff.   I used to go there a fair bit in my teenage years and if, like me, you remember Whitby from your childhood, then that’s another reason to read this book.

Did i mention the mystery thing?   Yeah, there’s the usual mystery going on for you mystery readers — will it be solved or won’t it, what’s it all about, etc., etc..

Oh, and before i forget, there’s even a love story thing as well?   Yeah, one of those, but, don’t worry, it won’t distract you from the best bits.

So it’s pretty much got a bit of everything going on in it, and it’s got it going on really well, so it’s definitely a keeper.   One day i plan to get around to reading it again.

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