This is my first ever blog tour (eek!). I’d like to thank Sarah at Smith Publicity for asking me to participate in the tour of this lovely novel. I really did enjoy it and it was something different from my normal reads. I am the last participant in the blog tour and I hope you’ve enjoy this tour. I received an ARC and the novel will be available to buy on the 2oth October.
A timeless story of mothers and daughters with a razor-sharp 21st century twist, this heart-wrenching debut for fans of Kimberly McCreight (Reconstructing Amelia) and Liane Moriarity (Big Little Lies) will make you question how you and your family spend time online.
With Saving Phoebe Murrow, acclaimed writer and longtime children’s activist Herta Feely introduces readers to Isabel Murrow: a suburban mother precariously balancing her busy career as a D.C. lawyer and her family, who she would do anything to protect. In a world of bullies and temptations, all Isabel wants is to keep her thirteen-year-old daughter, Phoebe, safe. But with her hectic schedule, Isabel fails to recognise another mother’s mounting fury and the danger her daughter faces by flirting with a mysterious boy online. A cyber-bulling incident aimed at Phoebe, with horrific consequences, finally pushes Isabel to the edge.
Smartly paced and equal parts shocking and sadly familiar, Saving Phoebe Murrow is a riveting addition to the contemporary women’s fiction landscape that will resonate with parents, teens, and anyone compelled by timely and beautifully crafted stories.
When I was first introduced to the concept behind this novel I was so excited. The plot was what drew me in completely – it’s the damage and dangers of social media and cyber bullying. I think nearly every young person can suffer from this form of bullying. Personally, it did take me back to the cruelness of high school in which online bullying was rife and so were nasty girls and boys. It’s a very brave and shocking story that has been told by Feely and at times uncomfortable. Feely really portrays cyber-bullying in a way which makes it not easily forgotten and the ultimate reality of it too.
The Murrow family starts off as being the typical all happy family with Phoebe’s Mother Isabel balancing children and her job as a lawyer. She tries to look after everybody and her 14-year-old daughter, Phoebe, is starting a new school due to being bullied at her previous school the year before. Phoebe is a character in which we can see ourselves within – she wants to be liked, she wants a boyfriend and she wants to be popular. The typical teenager. However, despite her efforts to fit in, the bullying continues in different ways. And, Phoebe resorts to different methods, including self-harm, to cope with it.
Personally, I thought that Phoebe was such as interesting character, juggling both her relaxed Dad and her protective Mother at home & her school life. It is easy to see how she resorted to speaking to someone online and it is very easy to empathise with her. I kept wanting her to succeed in her teenage ideals. However, a character I despised was Phoebe’s dad. I thought the way in which he handled situations wasn’t fatherly or caring but I think he was a character you aren’t meant to like and that’s also a good thing too.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel immensely. I loved how it was so fast paced and when I started reading it I just had to carry on. It was laced with suspension and tense – a real page turner. It was also so interesting to see behind the characters and their movies, however disturbing. Some parts the novel seemed to be a little unrealistic but I guess that is the true representation and the reality of how far bullying can really go. It’s a novel with a serious message underneath and one that deserves to be heard and it is certainly the most harrowing novel I have read this year.
Where to buy
Saving Phoebe Murrow [Upper Hand Press, September 2 2016] is available in paperback and e-book formats via all online and select brick-and-mortar book retailers.
You can also get a copy of the blog on amazon by clicking the cover image below!
About the Author
Herta Feely is a writer, full-time editor, and the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide. Her short stories and memoir have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including The Sun, Lullwater Review, The Griffin, Provincetown Arts, and Big Muddy. In the wake of the James Frey scandal, Feely edited and published the anthology, Confessions: Fact or Fiction? Awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The Trials of Serra Blue, she has also received an award from American Independent Writers for best published personal essay for a piece on immigration. Feely is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University. She has two grown sons and lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and cats. Connect with Herta on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website: http://www.hertafeely.com/
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