Wednesday 22 July 2020

BLOG TOUR: House of Straw - Marc Scott

‘Beautifully brutal, dark and twisted’  

Traumatised by the tragic death of her twin brother, Brianna falls into a state of deep depression, isolating herself from the world and all those that care about her. When a twist of fate reveals that she has a half-sister she finds a new purpose in her life and sets out to find her sibling, desperately hoping she can fill the void left in her world.

Poppy has not enjoyed the same privileged lifestyle as her sister while growing up. Abandoned into the care system at the age of eight, she has encountered both physical and sexual abuse for most of her life. Passing through the hands of more care homes and foster families than she can remember, the damaged product of a broken upbringing, Poppy has never found a place to feel truly safe. Kicking back at society, she turns to drug abuse and acts of extreme violence to escape from reality.

When the two siblings are finally united, they discover that they have much more in common than their DNA. Their paths are shrouded with sinister secrets of betrayal and regret and both girls share a deep-rooted hatred for one of their parents. As the dark truths of their lives are unveiled they realise that nothing can ever be the same again...  

What did I think?

House of Straw turned out to be a lot darker than I expected from reading the synopsis and it's always good when a book surprises you.  It's very hard-hitting from the start as we read about the death of Brianna's twin brother, Jamie, but there's much more to this story than meets the eye.

Brianna, who prefers to be known as Bree, spirals into a pit of despair after Jamie's death and she only has one friend for support.  Bree's relationship with her mother is almost non-existent and it only gets worse when she finds out that she has a half-sister, Poppy.  If I thought Bree was a damaged character, Poppy is smashed beyond repair.  

Poppy's life is a stark contrast to Bree's and it was heartbreaking to read about her past and present.  Poppy's story is so devastating that it was often hard to read the graphic details and I felt myself recoiling in horror as her abuse was described.  As much as the violence had me wincing as each blow was dealt, some of the words used in the sex scenes had me cringing.  I'm not a prude by any means but I think it's better to leave some things to the imagination.&nbsp

Although the storyline is gripping and intriguing, it took me a little while to get used to the writing style as the speech is quite stilted.  It feels a bit odd for characters who are a little rough around the edges to be speaking the Queen's English, for example using 'I am' instead of 'I'm'.  I did get used to it though, it just meant that speech didn't flow as well as it could have done.

I found it really interesting that both Poppy and Bree try to pin the blame for absolutely everything and anything on anybody but themselves; it's almost as if it's in their genes.  It's really quite startling that some people don't accept responsibility for their own actions and waste so much time blaming others that they get stuck in a rut of negativity.  I loved the thread of blame running throughout the novel; it's woven into the story brilliantly.

Shocking and hard-hitting, House of Straw is a very good first novel from Marc Scott and I'll be keeping an eye out for his new novel coming later this year.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Marc Scott was born and bred in the heart of East London. His dark and gritty writing style has earned him much praise with readers.

He worked in the film and video industry for more than twenty years, the highlight of which was spending twelve months based in Hollywood, organising marketing campaigns for a UK film distributor.

More recently he spent several years working with young offenders as part of his role associated with the court service. It was during this time he became deeply moved by the tragic story of one young girl who was struggling to come to terms with the neglect and abuse she had suffered throughout her life. Her tragic case inspired him to write his first novel HOUSE OF STRAW.

The book has already received excellent reviews from bloggers and buyers and his second book is planned for release at the end of 2020.

His favourite book is Birdy by William Wharton, which he confesses to have read at least half a dozen times. He also enjoys the works of Kazuo Ishiguro. ‘I love authors that can find something that is extraordinary in ordinary people’ he says. ‘A reader wants to feel like a bystander all through the journey and that only happens if they can feel an emotional attachment to the main characters’.

Marc lives in Buckinghamshire and has three grown-up children George, Marissa and Amie. He says his daughters have been the main motivation behind his love of writing. ‘I always run everything past them. Their honest appraisals definitely keep me on the right track’ he says.

He is a keen sports fan and has an undying passion for Leyton Orient Football Club.

Twitter: @MARCO1918253109

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for kicking off the blog tour today Michelle x