BOOK ☣ The Things We Thought We Knew ☼

I had the pleasure of knowing this author in the U.K when I attended the Leicestershire Writers Club and knew from her readings she could charm readers Delighted with this publication I live now in California, but managed to get hold of a copy through .com Loved the setting in the estate, how she created an entire world there A fascinating exploration of pain, and the struggle to come out of it Since I was recuperating from a painful surgery when I read it, I certainly identified with the central character, and how small your world can become I found her relationship with her friend s brother particularly affecting Look forward tofrom this talent writer. I had been looking forward to reading this for ages because I thought the topics covered in it would be interesting disability, social deprivation, life as a British Asian person to list but three but I was left a little disappointed It was a pleasant read, Mahsuda Snaith writes well, but the plot lacked enough momentum and suspense to make me want to keep reading, and I didn t really like Ravine view spoiler when she lied to her Mum about her recovery hide spoiler BOOK ♿ The Things We Thought We Knew ⚐ Ravine And Marianne Were Best Friends They Practised Handstands Together, Raced Slugs, And Looked Up At The Stars And Imagined Their Own Constellations And Then, One Day, Marianne DisappearedTen Years Later, Ravine Lies In A Bed In Her Mother S Council Flat, Plagued By Chronic Pain Syndrome, Writing Down The Things She Remembers As Her Words Fill Page After Page, She Begins To Understand That The Only Way To Conquer Her Pain Is To Confront The Horrors Of Her PastHeartbreaking, Seductive And Utterly Unforgettable, The Things We Thought We Knew Is A Rich And Powerful Novel About The Things We Remember And The Things We Wish We Could Forget I picked up this book as the book blurb sounded interesting and it had a sense of mystery to it.The story is simple, Ravine is bed ridden due to Chronic pain syndrome and the she goes back in time in her memories to her friendship with Marianne and her disappearance.As the pages turn, the story develops and Ravine s pain also decreases till it completely vanishes The story goes very slow and I have to admit I did skip over some pages to get to the ending I did not like the main character Ravine and found her to be self centered and selfish I just couldn t connect with any of the characters This is not my kind of read but the author has done a great job in describing the living conditions of Ravine and her words add to the story.A good coming of age story but a slow read. I had heard rave reviews about this book and when I picked up and saw that the author, Mahsuda Snaith had previously won awards I assumed the book would be good But then I saw that it s her debut novel and I got a bit nervous Let me just say that Mahsuda Snaith is the kind of writer I wish I could be or could have been had I been a writer This is a brilliant coming of age story with a hint of mystery and a hint of a love story Ravine is a young woman forced to remain in her mother s council flat in Leister due to a chronic pain condition that started on the night her best friend, Marianne, disappeared a decade earlier Snaith s rich and evocative writing make the reader fall in love with the characters and really become invested in them and their fate I m sure this will be one of my top books read in 2019 This isn t a book for me The writing style had a few beautiful moments but was mostly just okay Throughout the book it also teases about Something Happening in the past with a reveal at the end, which is a pretty common page turning device that wasn t done in an interesting or new way, so it was just kind of annoying aside the structure of All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld is probably the best take I ve seen on this I did like the way she wrote about the council estate and the community there, and many of her characters are richly drawn and engaging.The reason I requested this from the publisher is that the main character has chronic pain Chronic, invisible, illnesses are so rarely represented in literature, particularly within main characters, and I m always keen to find good representation I don t have chronic pain but have other health shenanigans This started well The way Snaith described living with chronic pain illness as a kind of living deathbed lifebed felt spot on Imagine sinking into your bed every day for nearly eleven years You wake up You go to the toilet You collapse back into bed and sail off Except you don t sail anywhere because some bastard has moored you to a pole You float in your sea of pain, hoping someone will come and hack the rope to pieces and set you free They never do.But then, very early in the book, she spontaneously recovers Completely For some people, chronic pain or illness is related to psychological trauma there is less of a Cartesian split between mind and body than many, including medicine, think , and this seems to be the case for Ravine and I don t have an issue with that But she hadn t faced or worked through her trauma in any way before it had an effect on her pain she just thought about maybe writing about what happened, and then went from excruciating pain most of the day to absolutely nothing, before she d even written thought through it It doesn t make any sense It made Ravine s chronic pain feel like an ill thought out plot device to place her where she needed to be physically, and as a lazily done physical pain representing mental pain In fact I read somewhere that Snaith had originally planned for Ravine to be in coma, but it didn t work so replaced the coma with pain I think she must have done some research spoken to someone with chronic illness to describe it well early on, but then either ignored it or didn t go further in order to make her plot points work It s kind of disappointing.A book that probably wouldn t be completely my thing anyway, but that also doesn t represent chronic pain all that well in the end Two stars I received a free copy from Doubleday in exchange for an honest review This review first appeared here Growing up story of an Asian girl on a Leicester estate at the turn of the millennium and after 2010 A really lovely opening, good characters, good dialogue, fairly fizzing, but the plot for me was a little drawn out and implausible and slowed the last section Nevertheless a book of energy and delight Slug races, dens in woods, secrets and misunderstandings, the joys of friendships and of having enemies , bogey men and real death. 4.5 My first book of 2018, and it s a good one This book was amazing Written with a delicate prose that has feelings and real life in high standard, follows the story of Ravine a girl bedriden due to chronic pain as she gets to grips with a sth that shattered her life.I loved how the author gave voice to her character so she could tell the story of her friend Marianne and through the story of her friend, hers this books reads like some peebles thrown into water and you see how the ripples reach each other and interact in a whole I LOVED this book Really.The characters are so compelling, so real life like that you can t help falling in love with them, wanting to knowof their life then and what happened In that the author succeds as she combines narration on the present moment and accounting of the past weaving the full scope of the story right in front of our eyes Everything is bealiable, everything is real I read this is the first book of the author and I want The things we thought we knew is a fascinating, honest but poignant coming of age story The book is set mainly in the present day, with Ravine bed bound after suffering from chronic pain syndrome However memories and events from her childhood are interweaved within this as Ravine remembersabout her friendship with Marianne The childhood memories made me quite nostalgic for my own childhood as I remember doing some of the same things they did We also used to make up stories about our neighbours being spies, pretended there were monsters in the woods and raced snails though it s slugs in the book , so these memories made me smile.The main character Ravine is a very interesting one and it was fascinating to learnabout chronic pain syndrome I had a lot of sympathy for her and the life she has been forced to lead but some if her actions, particularly those towards her mother, made her seem quite selfish From the beginning the author subtly hints that there isto her current situation than her just having chronic pain syndrome This becomesandapparent as the book goes on and it is this, along with the mystery or what happened to Marianne, that pulls the reader in and makes you want to continue reading My favourite character was Amma, Ravine s mum I loved how strong, confident and sassy she was despite having had quite a tough life Her love for Ravine is evident throughout the book and it was really touching to read about her efforts to try and help her daughter get better I found it so poignant to see her efforts rebuffed by Ravine Her attempts to try and get on with her life were also very sweet, as was the fact she put her plans immediately on hold when Ravine needed her.Their setting of the novel, a council estate, was really well described I felt like I could imagine the area Ravine lived in vividly The descriptions of the multicultural environment that probably exists in most inner city council estates and the characters that lived on it made the setting seem really real as everybody would have come across such characters in their lives or heard stories about them This setting also helped create a sense of claustrophobia as you get the sense that everybody knows everyone else and their business I felt that this added to the tension throughout the book as you wait for something to happen or be revealed.This is the author s debut novel and I really look forward to readingfrom her If you like books like Elizabeth is missing I think you will like this book as I think the styles are similar.Huge thanks to Thomas Hill and Transworld publisher for providing me with a copy of this book, I really enjoyed it