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The Things We Thought We Knew by Mahsuda Snaith

When offered the opportunity to read and review this book for the blog tour I just had to say yes; as a chronic illness sufferer myself and having previously been confined to just my house, I felt that it would be good to read a book around this to see how it had been portrayed. Although I’m normally more of a fantasy or historical reader rather than deep real life topic based, I really felt like this was a novel that should be read so that people can learn the struggles that some people have to deal with.I would like to begin by thank you Tom Hill and Transworld Books for both giving me this opportunity and sending me an early copy of this book.

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 disappeared.
Ten 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 past. (from Goodreads)

No one can possibly deny the beauty that is Mahsuda Snaith’s writing style. The description, flow, and sheer elegance just has you flowing through her novel with ease and simplicity. With vivid description the reader has little need for their imagination with the world around Ravine being exquisitely painted with precise detail for you. This extended further than just the setting, with the beautiful imagery being used as a way to describe the constant repetition and boredom that Ravine is experiencing at the start of the novel.

Now, going into this book, I was most interested about the portrayal of chronic illness, and although I do not suffer from chronic pain syndrome itself, I can say that I found myself relating to the thoughts, feelings and emotions that Ravine went through with her attempt at recovery. It was honest and true, and did not glamourize or down play any element of what it is like to have a chronic illness.

I could give this novel nothing less than 4 stars for the honesty and beauty of the writing. This story has something to offer to everyone, with its elegance and heart breaking storyline, everyone will find something that they can appreciate from this book,

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