Thursday 7 July 2016

Book Review: Under Rose-tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Author: Louise Gornall
Published: 7th July 2016
Publisher: Chicken House Books

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is such an important novel. It is unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of the impact of agoraphobia and OCD and if you didn't quite understand it before, then I don't think you will find a more heart-wrenching portrayal than this beautiful book.

Agoraphobia is what define Norah's life. She hasn't always been like this, but for the past four year the only world that she knows is one where the outside world is only experienced visually and not physically. Things start to change for Norah though when new next door neighbour Luke arrives and her world view tilts.

When I'm almost lost for words, I know how much a novel has impacted me and this is exactly how I feel with Under Rose-Tainted Skies. Louise has written this with so much honesty and feeling and a little part of me fell in love with Norah. Despite what she is going through and the constant anxiety she feels, she is still in my eyes such a strong and impressive character.

I am just so in awe of Louise's writing, she really gets across Norah's anxious thoughts and what exactly goes through her mind. It is what others do not see and as Norah says in the book, people don't think she is ill because they can't see it. Getting inside Norah's head opens up the extent to what she has to battle through, the things that others can't see. 

I think my eyes have opened to something that I never 100% understood before, but what has hit me most, is that the anxiety that Norah has with her serious overthinking and worry has struck a chord with me. Although I know I do not suffer from OCD or agoraphobia, I'm starting to think differently about the way I react to things and why I do get so incredibly anxious sometimes. It is something that I think I need to explore further. I think this is part of the reason I think this novel is so important as it not only helps others understand, but make others who are going through what Norah is, or similar, that they are not alone.

Despite the daily battles that Norah faces, this still managed to be an uplifting and heartwarming story. It talks about first love and the feelings that come with, alongside being a teenager. I was captivated the whole way through. Despite the story being almost entirely set in one house, it offers so much more than any other novel I have read.

The ending was just utterly perfect! I can see this story staying with me for a long, long time.


Under Rose-Tainted Skies is out now

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