Thursday 3 February 2022

BLOG TOUR: My Heart Went Walking - Sally Hanan

The only man she's ever loved is seeing her sister.

And now they have to save her together.

Sally Hanan's sublime debut mixes the prose of Sue Monk Kidd with the dialogue of Maeve Binchy. With captivating warmth, she pulls us in to how it felt to live and love in Ireland's changing culture of the '80s, and how it often made a woman's decisions for her.

"I can't bear to keep walking. But you can't keep a secret in this town unless you leave with it."

Kept apart by their love for one man, two sisters embark on their own paths towards survival, love, and understanding, until all three finally meet again in the worst of circumstances. And the reality might break them all.

My Heart Went Walking is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that sweeps from the small Irish town of Donegal to the "big smoke" of Dublin City; a book that celebrates the pull of family and the chance of redemption. It is a novel for everyone who feels connected to the Irish approach to life-that of grit and laughter-and also for everyone who loves an overriding message of hope and restoration in all things.

What did I think?

One of the best things about book blogging is finding new authors you may not have otherwise discovered and it would be a travesty to miss Sally Hanan's fabulous debut novel.  I simply adored it and I really didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

Una and Cullen are the best of friends and they tell each other everything...that is until Una has a secret that she can't share with him.  Una runs away from her family and a potential future with Cullen because staying in Donegal would break her heart.  Making a new life for herself in Dublin shows Una's strength of character and I can totally understand why she ran away but there are so many heartbreaking sliding door moments when her life could have changed.  

Sally Hanan's stunning fiction debut is so heartwarming and achingly poignant that I felt completely bereft when I turned the final page.  As with real life, there are so many 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' but what if everything turns out just the way it's supposed to.  Told from the points of view of Una, her sister Ellie and Cullen, the boy they both love, I devoured every single beautiful word in this delightful novel.

Filled with Irish charm and lyrical prose, My Heart Went Walking is a truly gorgeous novel of family life and unconditional love.  It's an absolute pleasure to read and a true hidden gem from the Emerald Isle.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

Many thanks to Hannah from Hargrave PR for sending me an ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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