**Disclosure: This is a review of a book I paid for with my own money. I am not being paid or compensated for this review in any way. All opinions are my own!**
It's been a long time (roughly 8 months) since I have read a book that didn't involve a small child or some sort of animal as the main character. It's been at least a year since I read anything that wasn't an instruction manual on how to be pregnant, have a baby or keep them well looked after.
Any other books have long been neglected in favour of blogging, early nights or social media websites. Particularly loving inboxing all my non-mummy friends and acting like staying up past 11pm isn't a totally irresponsible act that I will pay for tomorrow when the baby wakes at 7am and I'm wondering how his 12 hour sleep has resulted in an overly tired me.
But after a lovely twitter conversation with Sarah and Amy Beeson I followed a link to SarahBeeson.Org and after a little look around decided I wanted to read the memoirs book that Sarah and Amy had worked on together. A few nights later I ordered the book and when it arrived sank my teeth in to my first non-bedtime story book in quite some time!
Name & Author: The New Arrival - Sarah Beeson MBE
What's it about?: It's the memoirs of Sarah, a 1970's trainee nurse. The book starts as she sets off to London to begin training as a nurse. It follows her through her training, the friendships made and some of the patients that made an impact on her. Heartwarming, funny and yet at times heartbreaking real-life stories.
My Impressions: Within the first few pages I was already hooked. Rhodri was down for his morning nap and I read quicker than I've ever read taking in every word that painted a vivid picture of Sarah's surroundings and the people she met.
Within the first few pages I chuckled a few times and I felt like I was immediately transported to London in 1969. Moving quickly from chuckling, within the first few chapters I already shed a tear or two reading about one of the first patients Sarah encountered.
I kept reading, trying to swallow the book whole. I just wanted to take in as much as I could and genuinely didn't want to put the book down. I was quite disappointed when Rhodri woke from his nap, and quickly scolded myself for being so selfish.
Next nap I promptly picked up the book again, dieing to know who the patients Sarah would encounter next were. What ward she would next spend time on, and what adventures her & her friends would get up to. In all it took me 6 hours to read from cover to cover.
The book itself is very well written, it's easy to read and not at all over complicated like some memoirs can be. I love reading but often find books littered with long words that seem to be there for the heck of it. Like a neon sign saying look how intelligent I am, but it's a big turn off to me. This book isn't like that at all. It's written as someone would tell you a story from their past and with vocabulary you can imagine the author using normally.
Each 'story' is written in easily manageable portions. No story was long winded and each turn of the page left me eager for more.
When I reached the end of the book I wanted to read part two of Sarah's memoirs, but have to wait until July 2016 for that pleasure! I'm not normally a real-life/memoir/auto-biography kind of girl. I have read and enjoyed some but not to the extent that I loved The New Arrival. Normally favouring fantasies and a world I can escape to I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy this book as much as I did.
Overall Opinion: 10/10 - heartwarming, sad at times, good for a giggle and an overall fantastic read. I recommend this book to you all. It was a pleasure to read. When part two is released I will definitely have to limit my self to a chapter or two a day!! You can pick up a copy of The New Arrival from Amazon, Ebay (signed 1st edition, really wish I'd noticed that before I ordered my copy and not 2 days later!), Whsmith, Waterstones and Foyles. You can also get the E-Book. Click HERE for the links to the various purchase points.
Have you read the New Arrival? What were your thoughts? Any books you'd recommend I try? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading xoxo