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Our Beautiful Child

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"Ms. Annalisa Crawford does a good job of drawing you in and then revealing the darker side of the story." The Online Book Club "The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon."

... so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he's been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seeks sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that's where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

Our Beautiful Child explores the defining moments that turn emptiness into eternity in this spine-tingling collection of literary ghost fiction stories. The Boathouse collects spirits and wanderers who must all come to face with their loneliness in these woven stories, filled with twists and turns until its stunning denouement.

122 pages, Paperback

First published June 9, 2014

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About the author

Annalisa Crawford

11 books80 followers
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, and canine writing partner, Artoo. Her two sons have flown the nest, but still like a mention.

Crawford writes dark contemporary, character-driven fiction with a hint of the paranormal. As well as novels, she has had short stories published at Fairlight Books and Fictive Dreams.

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Kyra.
Author 34 books285 followers
June 19, 2014
Annalisa Crawford has managed to create another compelling collection of stories, all centered around one place - the mysterious Boathouse.

All three stories weave together beautifully, yet each one is unique.

What I love the most about this book is the feeling of slight creepiness that lingers after every story. Each one will have you shifting your eyes from left to right, checking for any unwelcome presence, just in case one of the more sinister characters has slipped out of the book and into your room!

Annalisa Crawford's books make you think, and Our Beautiful Child is no exception. A spectacular work of fiction by an underrated genius!
Profile Image for Nick Wilford.
Author 8 books35 followers
February 27, 2017
Our Beautiful Child is a collection of three stories, each centring around the mysterious Boathouse pub and featuring a different female protagonist. There’s a sense of movement, that each of these women is passing through this small town in one way or another. What’s great about this collection is that each story can be enjoyed perfectly well on its own terms, but taken together they intertwine in ways you didn’t see coming. First, “Ella’s Story” addresses a question we might have all thought about at some time; what if you knew the time and place of your own death? This is handled very delicately and skilfully by the author. Next, “The Traveller” tells the story of Sarah and Murray, both of whom seem to never stay in one place too long. At first, it’s not clear who the title refers to. This was another cleverly constructed story with an ending I didn’t see coming. The last story, “Our Beautiful Child”, was my favourite; it ties everything together and gives a deeper sense of the history of the Boathouse, as well as hinting at the things that might be out there that we don’t normally see. An enigmatic and gripping collection; highly recommended!

Profile Image for J.S. Watts.
Author 32 books40 followers
July 7, 2018
Crawford has a way with short stories as evidenced by her prize in the 2015 Costa Short Story Award. In “Our Beautiful Child” she tells three interwoven stories, contemporary tales of life and death linked by place and, to a certain extent, time.

The character driven and initially stand alone stories are lyrically told and had me hooked, wanting to know more: to see how each story pans out and what happens to each individual character. At a more literary level, I loved the way the themes of the stories were more interwoven than the narratives: an expected death, an unexpected death, the fine line between life and death. All three protagonists are running away from something, but ironically are also running towards something at the same time. Moreover, the loss of a beloved is clearly a dangerous thing for one or both parties in the relationship and sometimes for others.

All in all, some very fine story telling.
Profile Image for Liz Young.
Author 3 books2 followers
November 16, 2018
My Beautiful Child is a fascinating read about some unusual characters. The author delved deeply into their subconscious to draw three fully rounded, though troubled, people.
Profile Image for Cathy Ryan.
1,149 reviews64 followers
September 30, 2014
A collection of three fairly short character driven stories, supernatural and eerie, that centre around three women, a particular place and a pub named The Boathouse.

Ella: ‘It was a dream that woke me. The dream. The one I’ve had so often. Only this time there was an ending…oh, definitely there was an ending.’

Can dreams foretell the future and if so, is it possible to change the course of events.

Sally: ‘Murder. I shudder, feeling nauseous. That word…murder. It’s so menacing, so malicious. It’s so final.’

Sally is running from her dark past but how far will she go to keep it hidden.

Rona: ‘As the sun sets, Rona sways between the tables, lighting candles. Shadows hover on the walls, looming over the room – a slight menace, a slight disquiet prevails. In the furthest corner, away from the bar and the entrance, a candle refuses to be lit.’

Rona has a gift, a gift she will have to master.. or pay the ultimate price.

These women are inextricably linked, all running away from events in their lives and ending up in the same place. Each story is detailed wonderfully and evocatively written, painting vivid pictures, chilling and macabre and all with unexpected endings. These are not feel good tales but compelling nonetheless. What brings each woman to this place and why? Is the Boathouse the catalyst? Each tale is unique yet part of the whole and all are woven together very cleverly in the final story.
August 29, 2014
Julia survives an attempted suicide when she was a teenager - unfortunately her only friend dies.

On the day of Rachels funeral Julia is still in hospital and doesn't get to go. This is something she can't live down and can't let go of.

To get away from the guilt that hangs over her and her mother who is just too over protective, she likes to escape to her own little dream world.

That is until Adam comes along, he just arrives in the the office and her world is turned around. Slowly she begins to realise that the real world can be a better place to live than this little fantasy world she's in.

I don't really want to go on and ruin this book for you.

It is most certainly a book i will be reading again as it is one of them that i think you could read over and over and find something different each time.

I hope to read many more by Annalisa.
Profile Image for Julie Flanders.
Author 10 books166 followers
November 2, 2014
I have enjoyed all of Annalisa Crawford's works but this one is my favorite by far. The stories are all engaging and interesting on their own, but I wondered how they were all going to come together as I read. When it became clear in the end I felt a chill go up my spine at the same time the light bulb went off in my head. These are dark stories that manage to touching and heartbreaking at the same time. Crawford is an brilliantly talented writer and I look forward to reading whatever she comes up with next.
1,451 reviews24 followers
August 7, 2014
Annalisa has managed to write a book centered around one place The Boathouse. Each story is unique interesting and also slight creepy. I don't normally read books that are in the horror genre but this made me thirsty for more, I really enjoyed the second book and the third just made me want to read more. The cover adds a certain mystery to the book as I could'nt work out what the book was about until I read the book. Very powerful story. Will be looking forward to Annalisa's next book and hope it is
as good as this one.

Profile Image for Elizabeth Seckman.
Author 15 books89 followers
November 1, 2014
Annalisa Crawford's crisp style and clever twists always make her stories a must read. The tales in "our Beautiful Child" are surprising and suspenseful, each story drawing me in more than the next. She definitely knows how to hold a reader on the edge of the seat and just when you think you can predict what's about to happen- you're wrong.

If you like smart literature that makes your brain fire, this is the read to get.
Profile Image for Michelle.
264 reviews66 followers
February 20, 2016
The author has a crisp, clean, no-nonsense writing style. She delves deep into the heart, mind and soul of her characters. The reader is sucked into the stories, living each moment and experiencing each event alongside the characters.
Great suspense!
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 18 books427 followers
March 8, 2015
Crawford writes amazing short stories. In this collection they have a surreal, dream-like quality because of the beautiful writing and masterful weaving of words. I liked how the three stories all tied into one setting, The Boathouse.
Profile Image for Christie.
37 reviews
June 10, 2019
Eh… Not sure what the hype is about for this one. It reminds me of telling ghost stories in third grade. Choppy writing as well.
Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews

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