The secrets that bind us can also tear us apart…
1990. Harriet is a journalist. Her job takes her to dangerous places, where she asks questions and tries to make a difference. But when she is sent to Romania, to the state orphanages the world is only just learning about, she is forced to rethink her most important rule.
2018. Ellie is a gardener. Her garden is her sanctuary, her pride and joy. But, though she spends long days outdoors, she hasn’t set foot beyond her gate for far too long. Now someone enters her life who could finally be the reason she needs to overcome her fears.
From post-revolution Romania to the idyllic English countryside, The World at My Feet is the story of two women, two worlds, and a journey of self-discovery that spans a lifetime.
It’s such a privilege this sunny spring evening, to be one of the bloggers closing the blog tour of one of the best books I’ve read this year so far– and that is no mean feat, as 2021 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for books. The World At My Feet is a book that you’ll be seeing everywhere this Summer and if you’ve not got your Spring/Summer TBR scheduled already, you should definitely make a space for this thought provoking, touching and unforgettable read.
The fact that this book is so wonderfully structured with such clever juxtapositions and thought provoking contrasts means that it is hard to write a review without any spoilers. I really want you to have the same amazing reading experience that I had – so I am committed t not giving anything away that will have an impact on that. Suffice to say that I adored this book – Catherine Isaac’s writing was as beautifully sustained as always which allows you to fully immerse yourself in Harriet and Ellie’s very different worlds and experience the highs nd lows right there alogside them. It’s one of those books that you find yourself thinking about whenever you’re not reading it and imagining what the characters are doing, just as if they are real people that you know…
I really lost myself in the story of Harriet whose job was so well described thatI could see some of tese sights and sounds for myself I felt like I could really transport myself into her world and imagine the impact on the things she sees and experiences in Romania myself. The book deals so sensitively with the impact of trauma and mental health and I really feel that this is one of the main misconceptions about women’s fiction – that it is all just light fluff and love stories – this book is typical of what we’ve come to know and love about Catherine Isaac stories; that they are not afaid to tackle difficult subjects with compassion, sensitivity and a open mind and really hekp the readers to gain a much better understanding about the way some of these issues affect the ives of thousands of ordinary people off the page too
As we read on, we also meet Ellie who has her own sorrows to seek. I feel that agoraphobia is perhaps one of the most misunderstood conditions that people have to live with and Ellie’s story goes a long way towards dispelling some of the misconceptions and allows us to see that Ellie’s situation might be a lot more complex than the stereotypical idea about someone who ‘can’t go out’
Ellie is a fabulous character, she definitely felt very real to me as she wrestles with the idea of moving outwith her strictly defined and safe boundaries as blogger @EnglishCountryGardenista and stepping outwith her literal and metaphorical comfort zone to take a chance onthe world outside her window and embarking on a new chapter in her personal life. Ellie and Harriet’s alternating chapters give us a gradual insight into the back stories of both these characters and a slow reveal about how and why their current situation has evolved – allowing a real empathy to develop between the characters and the readers
This novel is perfect for readers who enjoy characters we can really connect with in emotional dilemmas that have us rooting for them. Ellie is such a fabulous creation and we definitely feel for her as she struggles with her conflicting emotions and can see the very real struggle to push herself outwith the safe boundaries of her home and family. Harriet was also so well-drawn and her experiences abroad are so well crafted tha they just spring off the page. It is a real joy to get to know them both as the book develops which makes the way that the plot unfolds for their very different circumstances all the more compelling to read about.
I think that this will definitely bring Jane Costello a whole new audience who are looking for a novel that will not only entertain them but make them think more deeply about the way that mental health issurs are treated in fiction and in real life too – Catherine Isaac has brought us a novel that asks us to consider the way that we talk to ourselves about wellbeing and the way that we think about other people’s struggles too I read this book in a single day over last weekemd and I’m so glad that I actually got the time to unwind and lose myself in this emotionally rewarding and thought-provoking read.
The World At My Feet is a moving and emotional story and I’d love to see it on the slver screen I am so grateful to the lovely Megan Denholm & SJV aka BookMinx for inviting me on the tour, it’s been an absolute pleasure and I can’t stop recommending this book to EVERYONE.
Buy yourself a copy right now and enjoy Ellie & Harriet’s story for yourself. And you don’t just have to take my word for it – look at all the praise this wonderful read has attracted already
‘The World at my Feet is a profoundly moving, heart-filled story showing that, even in the darkest winter, new shoots of love, laughter and hope are waiting to burst through. Ellie is a wonderful character, whose daily acts of courage are an inspiration. As she nurtures her beloved garden, and reaches out to those beyond its walls, she finds her own way through to the sunlight. Catherine Isaac handles Ellie’s backstory with the kind of sensitivity and delicacy that’s the mark of an exceptionally accomplished writer. The World at my Feet is exactly the kind of story we all need right now. I adored it’ — Sarah Haywood, author of The Cactus
‘A poignant and perceptive novel of love and courage in the face of terrible adversity’ — Erica James, author of Letters From the Past
‘Such an interesting and beautifully written book – I loved it and would highly recommend adding it to your 2021 reading list. It is a wonderful story that I know readers are going to feel moved and uplifted by’ — Libby Page, author of The Lido
‘Beautifully written, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting – The World At My Feet is Catherine Isaac’s best book so far!’
— Debbie Johnson, author of Maybe One Day
‘What a moving and uplifting story this is – Catherine Isaac writes with real humanity and kindness, which is exactly what we all need right now’
— Lucy Diamond, author of An Almost Perfect Holiday
‘The World at My Feet brought me to tears. What a beautifully written and incredibly moving novel’ — Beth O’Leary, author of The Flatshare
Writer On The Shelf
I write life-affirming stories about self-discovery and family secrets – and my latest, THE WORLD AT MY FEET, is published in the UK in March 2021.
The book will be my third written as ‘Catherine Isaac’; my previous two, MESSY, WONDERFUL US and YOU ME EVERYTHING, have been translated into 24 languages, while a movie adaptation of the latter is currently in development by Lionsgate and Temple Hill.
Before those, I wrote romantic comedy for over a decade, under the pseudonym ‘Jane Costello’.
I love hearing from anyone who’s read my stories, so please do write an Amazon review or get in touch with me on Instagram @catherineisaacauthor, Twitter @CatherineIsaac_ or Facebook @Catherineisaacauthor.
You can also sign up to my monthly newsletter at http://www.catherine-isaac.com
I live in Liverpool, with my husband and three boys, which is where my writing career began, as a trainee reporter on the Liverpool Echo, back in the late 1990s. These days, as well as my writing, I also love running, playing tennis, renovating our 178-year old house and reading a lot of books.