Friday, 10 June 2016

#Blogival - Book Review: We Never Let Go by Tracy Peppiatt

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


It is said that a picture paints a thousand words but unless those words are revealed the viewer has to make their own interpretation. A family photograph like thousands of others may give a clue to the location and time through clothing and scenery, but what is not apparent are the thoughts, aspirations, and life of those portrayed. This is a story of a working class family, whose voyage through the rapidly changing society of the 60's and 70's, was probably like many others.

But the difference with this story is that despite the often genuinely desperate situations that they found themselves, they persevered throughout with love and mutual dependence but primarily because there was little choice. The bond that holds us all together through all of life's twists and turns and ultimately determines how we turn out in later life is the underlying story that is revealed. However, as we are the product of our response to our experiences through life, we ultimately never let go.

Image: Tracy Peppiatt / Clink Street Publishing
I have to admit that I don't usually pick up books of the 'poor me' self-pitying sub-genre of memoirs. From reading other reviews, I saw that We Never Let Go could easily have slipped into that category, a fact which was further affirmed when I began to read it myself. However, I agree with the majority of the other reviewers in the fact that this book doesn't actually focus on that aspect. Yes, without a doubt it's clear that the author had a tough upbringing and some difficult moments throughout life, but although those are integral to the story, they aren't what makes the story. Instead, it's the honest depiction of human nature and family that really draws you in. The author is unflinchingly honest in her no-holds-barred approach to telling her family's story, which combines perfectly with the gritty reality of the life she illustrates.

The stark, almost bleak reality of working class life in Northern England at the time is well documented, however it's only through accounts such as this that the atmosphere is really brought to life. For a personal account, the narration is surprisingly insightful, really capturing the essence of the time.

We Never Let Go is a fast-paced, emotional ride from start to finish. It's clear just how important family is to the author, and the understated yet incredibly heartfelt tributes to her family are skilfully written. The fast pace makes it a very quick read, but it also suits the identity of the book. Coming away, you are left with a sense of melancholy for things that once were. It captures the fleeting, ever-changing nature of life; life is short, and things will never be the same as they are in the moment.

Rating: 3 stars.

We Never Let Go is available to buy now.

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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