Reviewed by Gitte
I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what I enjoy and what leaves me thinking this just isn’t for me…..
My Name Is… Gitte and I just read something pretty bloody brilliant.
I’m not sure how many of you are like me and still walk into book stores and just browse for the sake of browsing. Not necessarily looking for anything specific, more like walking in; touching the beautiful covers and inhaling that very special scent only paperbacks have. Feeling the weight in your hands from the promise of a great book. Discovering a hidden gem within words on a page. Is there anything better than spending time in a book shop? Not really, let’s be honest here.
Well, all this happened to me and my find came as a complete surprise. I picked this book up and fell for the cover, also the synopsis intrigued me. Then upon seeing the Author name doubts formed about my initial urge to buy and read this book. I guess I just wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it as much as I initially thought as I never saw myself reading a book penned by Alastair Campbell. Well, I did enjoy it and I loved it for so many reasons, so shame on me. It was fascinating, brilliantly clever, inspirational, heart breaking and incredibly convincing in its raw ugliness. But it was funny too at times and so very British at heart. This is akin to a selfie that hasn’t been photo shopped or filtered!
“I can’t bear the effect she’s having on our lives.”
This is real life depicted through experience, relevance and could be anyone we know of from our daily lives, perhaps on some levels even ourselves on a different scale.
‘Sorry for being me….’
‘What’s done is done…’
So, what I’m trying to say is that this is not a story that has the romance we’re used to here at TB. It hasn’t got a romantic hero who saves our heroine. Nor is it romanticised flowers and hearts. Rather, this is a dark, gritty and raw fictional look at how a young life is captured by the devastating claw of alcoholism at the tender age of 14.
‘My name is Hannah. This is their story . . .’
Cleverly and captivatingly so, Hannah’s story is told by people who’re featuring or have featured in her life in a variety of roles: Parents, Family, Friends, Teachers, Ex-lovers, the list of narrators is really quite comprehensive and you learn much about them too through their story telling.
“It sounded to me as if sometimes she felt like an orphan in her own home, like she didn’t have parents the same way other children did.” – Amanda
Imagine how naked and different of an account it would be, if rather than you telling your story as is; people you’ve had an impact on or have experienced a part of your life tell it from their perspective and emotion.
“She was not loquacious but she could be sharp tongued. But there was also this other side to her, gentler, intelligent….” – June
An outsider looking in without having access to the root cause of what makes you truly hurt. Nor experiencing your inner raging turmoil which has you grasping for that elusive numbness. An emotionless numbness and escape which can ultimately result in a devastating disease. Or so it would be in this case. Addiction is a disease with a wide ranging net.
“I drink because how I feel when I’m not drinking doesn’t feel normal, doesn’t feel right.”
“And when you drink?”
“And when you stop?”
“I hate myself.”
I urge everyone to pick up this book…..I know I’m glad I did as I laughed, cried and marvelled at how bloody clever this story truly is. My Name is…gives insight on addiction; it shines a light on society and responsibilities and it shows pure humanity with our girl Hannah as the focus.