Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Published: 7th August 2014
Pages: 467 Pages
A troubled boy. A psychotherapist specializing in past life regression. An unsolved murder from 100 years ago that threatens to take another life. Twelve-year-old Ben believes he is a girl. When therapist Mary suggests hypnosis, he recalls a past life as herring girl Annie.
The session ends abruptly and Mary begins to suspect that Annie might have been murdered. As the therapy continues, the events surrounding Annie’s final days start to emerge: her secret affair with young fisherman Sam; the violent jealousy of his rival Tom; the illegitimate pregnancy of her best friend Flo; the emerging homosexuality of her brother Jimmy.
Before long Mary and Ben discover that all of these people lived and died over a century earlier in the fishing port where they live. If reincarnation happens in clusters, perhaps Ben’s friends and family were involved in the dramas of 1898, and the murderer is still among them. Can they solve the mystery before tragedy strikes again?
Thank you to Oneworld Publications for sending me a copy of Herring Girl to read and review.
Wow, just wow! I hope my words written in this review will do Herring Girl justice because it was simply amazing. I really love it when you receive a book that is not entirely well-known and it turns out to be the best you’ve read.
The main topic of Herring Girl is past life regression and finding out about South Shields circa 1890 through Ben’s visions. Ben is confused with life and he is unhappy being inside a boy’s body – he wants to become a female. All these feelings lead him into therapist Mary’s office for several hypnosis sessions. From these sessions he learns that he lived a previous life as Annie a herring girl from South Shields.
I absolutely loved Ben’s character and I wanted him to have happiness more than anything. Although he was suffering with a lot of things, he didn’t really seem to let it get to him that much. The group of friends he met through Mary made him feel comfortable with who he was and everyone should have friends like that.
It was fascinating to learn about South Shields in a historical way because I’m always interested in what life was like many years ago. It makes you think just how lucky we all are to have clean water, electricity and all the gadgets. Annie and the people in her life struggle with labour intensive jobs and they weren’t even allowed to be children, they had to become adults really quickly.
The story was full of twists and turns and I often found myself gasping out loud or even crying because I just didn’t see situations happening. One major incident had me crying for a full half an hour. WHY DID YOU DO THAT? Plus, there wasn’t any sugar coating if something bad happened, it happened.