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The Mountain in My Shoe

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  656 ratings  ·  159 reviews
A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself. On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the ...more
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published July 23rd 2016 by ORENDA BOOKS
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  656 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
This is the first time in a LONG time I’ve been left speechless upon finishing a book, especially one that’s fiction. Please forgive me as I continue to try and find the words to write this review; how can you contain such a magnificent read into such a concise and brief afterthought? I had heard wonderful things about Louise Beech’s writing from other trusted reviewers, but as a reader who was new to her work I had no clue what I was really in for. The Mountain in My Shoe is a stunning read tha ...more
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Knowing Louise Beech's penchant for creating such poignant and emotional stories based on true life or realistic events, I just knew I was in for a fabulous read and I had my tissues at hand just in case.
Oh my! Well, she did it again - wrote an absolute belter with her debut book "How To Be Brave" and now with the moving and powerful book "The Mountain In My Shoe" she surpassed my expectations and had me gripped to the pages unable to put it down. With a very intriguing title and a beautiful co
Joanne Robertson
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I know that I’m not alone in saying that I so adored How to be Brave, the first novel by Louise Beech, that I was worried about reading her follow up as I didn’t want to be disappointed by my (probably unrealistically high) expectations! But I should have trusted the extraordinary talent of this “new literary talent on the block” as, although a different style of book to How to be Brave, this book totally exceeded my expectations….I absolutely LOVED it! In fact I decided to sleep on my review so ...more
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The Mountain In My Shoe is a story that alternates between Bernadette, Conor and a book.

Bernadette is quite a fragile person. She hasn’t been happy for a long time in her marriage to her husband Richard. After years of pretty much existing she finally finds the strength to leave him and move on.

Unbeknown to her husband, Bernadette has secretly been volunteering to befriend children in care. The child she gets to befriend is ten year old Conor. Conor has a huge impact on Bernadette and you can te
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I discovered Louise Beech via her beautiful debut novel, How to Be Brave. It is a joy to see where her writing has taken her now. Her new book is The Mountain in My Shoe, with its unusual and stunning focus on relationships and the care system in England.

The story follows a young woman, who is unhappily married and works as a volunteer befriender. Befrienders are unpaid volunteers, who provide continuity for looked after children and other children in need. Looked after children is the term give
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I reviewed Louise’s debut novel last year (How To Be Brave) and it was one of my top books of 2015. Louise Beech has written another stunning book and this is definitely a sure contender for my 2016 books of the year list.

The story centres around Conor, a 10 year old boy in the care system who has been shunted from various foster homes all his life. He does have a birth mother but although she is unable to care for him she won’t let him be adopted. Despite such a difficult start to his life, Co
Having absolutely LOVED How to be Brave, I’m slightly ashamed of myself for taking so long to finally read Louise Beech’s second novel, The Mountain in My Shoe. Fingers crossed it won’t take me so long to start reading her third novel, especially after loving this book so much too.

The Mountain in My Shoe is a sort of contemporary, psychological, a bit thriller, a hint of domestic noir, emotional, thought-provoking, sad, but also feel-good character led story. Please don’t ask me to stick this in
Tracy Fenton
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the second book by Louise Beech and it is another beautiful and skilfully crafted novel with believable characters and a moving storyline. The author has an incredible skill of bringing the characters to life and ensuring the reader is truly captivated in every chapter. 4.5 stars
The Book Review Café
All my reviews can be found at

I must be the last book blogger on the planet to read The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech, I think the reason it took me so long to read it was because everyone was saying how fabulous it was, now normally I usually find a book with so much praise leaves me feeling disappointed, but this wasn’t the case, so now every book blogger can say “I told you so”. I have to say it is the most exquisite and emotive book I have read in a very lo
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
you can find all my reviews at

The story begins with a brief introduction from 'The Book 'followed by Bernadette, who coincidently can't find said book. The Book is not only missing, but it's also a main character in the novel which, along with Bernadette, play a significant part in a little boy's life. I was immediately drawn to Bernadette's character. I liked her within reading just the first few pages and that has to be because of Louise Beech's fantastic writing.

Conor is a
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she's leaving, he doesn't come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she's befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his Lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor's foster mom, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband's secrets and a future she never dared imagine in o
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read the review in my blog >> I believe everyone who read Louise Beech’s debut: How To Be Brave agreed that it would be extremely hard to top it. And yet, The Mountain In My Shoe is a truly wonderful book that is just as good as its predecessor, maybe even better. They are completely different when it comes to plot, but they both share many traits, like narrating touching stories and focusing on children.

As some of you know, I wasn’t feeling very well this past week because of a terrible col
Sharon Metcalf
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars
Stories of foster children never fail to draw my attention and The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech was no exception. Not only did the characters feel so real they could draw breath, but the story had an element of suspense which at times had me holding mine. Perhaps that's an exaggeration. This wasn't exactly a thriller but it contained a few elements and plot twists that had me speculating about the who, what and why's. For me it was an enjoyable blend of believable characters - mo
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This novel is Exquisite. Simply stunning storyline that pulled at my heartstrings and kept me glued to the pages from the very start until the final word. My first book read by Louise Beech and I'm very impressed.

Full rave review on way.
Laura Rash
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I don't even know where to start with this one. Truly a unique plot with every range of emotions. I fell in love with Conor & his elongated family. One thing that kept going through my head as I read his story was the saying "it takes a village". A village of caring people to live a child, blood related or not.
A very cleverly writing style made this a book you can't put down.
Thanks to Karen at Orenda books for this copy in exchange for review. It was an honor to have read it.
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Well Louise Beech has done it again, another fantastic book that I didn't want to end. Conor is a young boy who has spent his life being passed around the care system, he has a love for art, Muhammad Ali and his mum but most of all he needs someone to love him. Bernadette is married to Richard, he thinks they are happy she knows they're not. Bernadette wants nothing more than a child of her own something she hasn't been blessed with. Richard likes to control Bernadettes life which means she make ...more
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored Louise Beech's debut 'How To Be Brave' and feared that she would struggle to match it ..... I was, I'm pleased to say very, very wrong.

The Mountain in My Shoe is a wonderful story of a young boy who has been passed from pillar to post in the care system and his befriender - the book is, as expected, beautifully written, the story is wonderfully crafted and the characters, right from the lead players through to the local taxi driver, are fabulously brought to life with Louise
Marina Sofia
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A chilling tale of parental neglect, but ultimately hopeful and uplifting.
Vikki Patis
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many thanks to the author & to Orenda Books for providing me with a review copy.

Described as a psychological thriller, The Mountain In My Shoe is more a work of explorative fiction, which delves into what we mean by the word "family". As we know, families come in all shapes and sizes, with some members stepping into different roles, others fulfilling more than one role, some related by blood and others not. Defining a family is difficult, as there can be so many variables. Louise Beech explores
J.M. Hewitt Author
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
I'd read How to be Brave and wondered if anything could top it. The Mountain in my Shoe did! It's fantastic writing, a gripping storyline with brilliant characters who are totally identifiable.
I didn't know much about the care system and I feel I've learned a lot. For someone with experience of fostering and the system, this book will really resonate.
Louise Beech has a real talent for getting inside her characters and making the reader care. Beech is one of those rare authors who I will now pu
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another emotional good read from Louise Beech
Meggy - Chocolate'n'Waffles
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Reading certain stories feels like taking a bath. You open the first page, tentatively brushing the water with your toe to check the temperature, and you relax instantly, you know you are in good hands. So you climb into the tub, you let the steam fill your head and your body soak into the water. The Mountain in my Shoe’s waves of words washed over me until it felt a print on my skin, emotions, and mind.

First, I owe Bernadette an apology. Because of her name, I assumed right from the start that

Cathy Ryan
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After several years of moving from one foster home to another, ten year old Conor has been settled with his latest foster mother, Anne, for five years. Both are very happy with the arrangement. His birth mother is unable to care for him but won’t agree to an adoption hence the foster care. Despite what he has been through in his short life, Conor has proved to be quite adaptable although he does understandably have issues. One of his passions is art, at which he excels. The other is Mohammed Ali ...more
Nida Kazi
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
''It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.’' ~Muhammad Ali

(Amazing story)
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really admired this author's writing in How To Be Brave, she has a delicate touch, yet her story telling is so incredibly strong. I hoped for the same with The Mountain in My Shoe.

Sometimes, and only sometimes, a book can touch the most hidden parts of the mind, evoking emotions and memories that may have been stored away for a long time. That is what happened when I read The Mountain in My Shoe.

I was overcome with an incredible feeling of familiarity whilst reading about Bernadette, Anne and
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-set-in-uk
Novel set in EAST YORKSHIRE, UK (a strong, moving and compelling story)

A powerful novel of love and secrets, set in the all too real settings of Bernadette in a loveless marriage, and Conor who is a boy being passed from foster home to foster home.

Bernadette has been married for 10 years to a man she realises she has no longer loves. They live in a cold and damp flat, alongside the dark and dangerous River Humber. Bernadette has her husband’s meal ready every day when he returns from work at 6pm
Rachel Gilbey
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book, which makes my enjoyment of it all the more surprising. I had been slightly apprehensive at first as I have met plenty of people that rave about this author, this publisher, this book, but yet perhaps because it didn't have the sort of cover I tend to go for, I was slightly unsure.

Yet it didn't take long for me to realise I was reading something special. The writing is beautiful and at times the story was really emotional. At other times, the
Laura Besley
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've not read all of Louise Beech's books, but so far have not been disappointed. This was an emotional read. ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I am positive that The Mountain in My Shoe will be in my top 5 reads for the year. It is an amazing, unique book. The book starts with 3 missing; Bernadette's husband, 10 yr old Conor in foster care who Bernadette has befriended, and Conor's Life Book which was in Bernadette's possession. This book is part suspense, but so much more than that. It is an emotional moving read with amazing characters. Through excerpts from Conor's Life Book, we learn about his life in the British care system. This ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading 8 pages in the book of the praise for Louise Beech, I must add that I agree with everyone. Louise has taken extreme care with this rich psychologically novel and with observation. I found that I really cared about the characters. A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself. Bernadette's friend Shannon set up a blind date for her. Richard is apparently an equally shy and sensitive friend of Shannon's. The perfect match for Bernade ...more
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Louise's debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers' pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian's Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon 'quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt'. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was d ...more

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