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Open My Eyes, That I May See Marvellous Things

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Alice Allan
2017 | paperback | 240pp | 198x129mm
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Open My Eyes, That I May See Marvellous Things

How can you hold a baby next to your skin without it touching your heart?

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: when adopted midwife Mariam embarks on a project to protect an abandoned premature baby, she is forced to face her own abandonment years before. Time is running out before the baby is sent to the orphanage. Mysterious characters from the city surrounding the hospital will be crucial in determining the baby’s fate, as will a workaholic British doctor with whom Mariam finds herself falling in love... Alice Allan's debut novel is an original, vivid and moving story about attachment and loss.

"This is a beautifully written book, the characters of which leap to life and lodge in the mind. It is sure of its steps and tone, often moving, often daring." Robert Macfarlane (Landmarks, The Wild Places, The Lost Words)

åäÌÝ̏Open My Eyes is a tender story, perfectly evoking Addis Ababa in all its fascinating complexity... a joy to readåäÌÝå. Elizabeth Laird (The Garbage King, Lure of the Honey Bird)

åäÌÝ̏Allan writes evocatively of [Ethiopia]åäÌÝ_The smells, customs, food, landmarks and patterns of life that her characters observe bring the country alive for the reader, creating an emotional and vibrant novel.åäÌÝå Juno Magazine

"I was moved and captivated by this gripping, unflinching, tender story of a woman catapulted into loving an abandoned baby. Told with great insight, it evokes the contradictions of contemporary Addis Ababa vividly. I loved it." Samantha Ellis (Take Courage, How to be a Heroine)

"I have never read prose that so powerfully captures the sensations of a newbornåäÌÝ_It's really wonderful to read fiction so heartfelt, so accurate, and so moving.åäÌÝå Karen Hall, Sprogcast

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  • 5
    A wonderful, evocative story

    Posted by Reader on 8th Feb 2018

    What an entertaining and moving story! I have read and enjoyed many of books about breastfeeding and babies but my favourite type of reading has to be a novel. It is not often that one comes across a wonderful novel which features themes like infant feeding and Neonatal care. Even more rare to come across this within an wonderfully written, page turning story. I wondered whether a book written by a Lactation consultant on this topic might lead to a story full of cliches. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry about this. There were enough factually correct features to make me smile, but they didn’t over take the story. I enjoyed the way each chapter was written from a different character’s viewpoint, particularly when it was describing what the baby was thinking and feeling. Some of this was incredibly profound and gave me insight into what small babies might be experiencing. These insights will stay with me – the author clearly has an extraordinary ability to put herself into other’s shoes and a thorough understanding of babies and their experiences. I also really enjoyed reading about Ethiopia and the sounds and sights and people who love there. Such a page turning story, I would recommend it to anybody, particularly those with an interest in infant feeding.