If you haven’t heard about Bookollective, I urge you to check out their twitter page and accompanying website.
I’m lucky enough to be a part of their B Team and our first task? Reading and reviewing Because of You by Hélene Fermont.
Because of You is the deeply moving debut novel by Scandinavian writer Helene Fermont. It’s a gripping work of modern women’s fiction with a distinct ‘Scandi’ feel and a psychological twist.
Because of You spans 36 years in the life of Hannah Stein, a Swedish teenager who arrives in London, at the tail end of the disco era, for a gap year before embarking on a teaching career. The people she meets change the course of her life irrevocably and the novel charts her changing personal and professional fortunes over the next three decades. Because of You is about love, coming of age, friendship, bereavement, stillbirth and rape. Its themes include redemption, acceptance, fidelity and family. Because of You is a story that every woman can relate to.
Scandinavian noir has firmly established itself as a bestselling genre in the UK. Because of You takes the elements that make this style of writing so compelling – the realism and dark, morally complex mood – and combines it with women’s fiction.
This is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny and will appeal to readers who appreciate an emotive, uncompromising and fulfilling read driven by character and circumstance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born into a bilingual family (Swedish/English), Hélene Fermont enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the outskirts of Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city and a major cultural hub.
Growing up in the early 1970s, she enjoyed a brief musical career on Swedish TV and radio before pursuing a rewarding career as a therapist specialising in children with learning difficulties.
Hélene has lived in London for over 20 years but still regularly returns to her native Sweden, where the unspoiled scenery and tranquility help aid the creative process. Hélene is currently hard at work on her second novel.
This book tells the story of Hannah, a Swede who spends a lot of her life in London, UK. We see her grown from a young and naive eighteen-year-old to a smart and determined middle aged woman.
We watch as she grows and meets new people, dealing with death of relatives and good friends, and succeeding in making her dreams come true.
The story blitzes through the years, including; marriages, loss, births, deaths and upon reading the book, I felt that Hannah was always dealt the bad card, she was such a shy and lovable creature, but for some reason, whenever she was happy, it was taken from her. I bit like life I guess?
It’s a believable and wonderfully written story, and proves that sometimes, life hands us unexpected gifts in various ways.
There are some horrid characters in the book, like there is in life, but some of these characters are seen to change their ways for the better. Which, of course, readers will love! I know I did! It’s always a great feeling when a bad guy realises they’re wrong and turns over a new leaf!
The book contains a vast array of characters, and although the story and timeline is mostly centered on Hannah, we’re able to look into others lives, all connected to her. Her parents, lovers, friends, enemies, all connect to make one big story that spans a lifetime.
A wonderful read, Because of You, gives hope to all that lost someone close to them, that there really is rainbows after the rain.