Saturday, 19 November 2016

Instructions for a Second-hand Heart

This week I ventured into London for the evening, for the book launch of Instructions for a Second-Hand Heart by the lovely and powerhouse of a writer, Tamsyn Murray.

Just getting to Piccadilly Waterstones was an adventure, nearly going Northbound on the tube when I wanted Southbound. On the way, with fellow writer, Kate Wiseman, we discovered it was the premiere of Fantastic Beasts that night at Leicester Square. We didn’t actually spot any stars, unless you count a YouTube star who walked right past us, but we did hear lots of screaming each time an actor or JK Rowling must have been arriving, exciting to think we were so close to the stars!

Piccadilly Waterstones is a dream for any writer, with floor after floor full of books. So it was a perfect venur for Tamsyn's book launch. The event was packed full of lovely people of the writing community, from writers, editors to agents, bloggers and reviewers amongst others. The room was full of people with lots of love and respect for a brilliant writer.

The launch was for Instructions for a Second-hand Heart, a story about Jonny and Niamh, one with a broken heart from losing a family member, and the other, a medically broken heart and in need of a new one. Their two stories are beautifully intertwined as their paths cross.

The book has mainly short, snappy chapters which I loved. The writing is simply beautiful and heart-breaking, but in a good way, with well-drawn and empathetic teenage characters.

Both main characters take us on a journey to deal with loss and learning to live. The book deals with sensitive issues, such as death and long term illness, but it is handled in a delicate manner, and with a story that kept me up until the early hours, desperate to know the fate of the characters. 

It’s been a week now since I finished the book, and I’m still thinking of Niamh and Jonny, and wishing I could still read what’s happening with them.

You will need tissues whilst reading this book, but the end is uplifting and full of hope. Instructions for a Second-hand Heart is definitely a story that will move you and stay with you for a long time after you’ve put it down.

Tamsyn treated everyone at the book launch to a reading from chapter two of the book. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Tamsyn read then I can thoroughly recommend it. She has a wonderful flair and gift for public readings!