About the book:
Thorn Marsh was raised in a house of whispers, of meaningful glances and half- finished sentences. Now she’s a journalist with a passion for truth, more devoted to her work at the London Journal than she ever was to her ex-husband.
When the newspaper is bought by media giant The Goring Group, who value sales figures over fact-checking, Thorn openly questions their methods, and promptly finds herself moved from the news desk to the midweek supplement, reporting heart-warming stories for their new segment, The Bright Side, a job to which she is spectacularly unsuited.
On a final warning and with no heart-warming news in sight, a desperate Thorn fabricates a good-news story of her own. The story, centred on an angelic apparition on Hampstead Heath, goes viral. Caught between her principles and her ambitions, Thorn goes in search of the truth behind her creation, only to find the answers locked away in the unconscious mind of a stranger.
Marika Cobbold returns with her eighth novel, On Hampstead Heath. Sharp, poignant, and infused with dark humour, On Hampstead Heath is an homage to storytelling and to truth; to the tales we tell ourselves, and the stories that save us.
I had never read anything by Marika Cobbold before, but I will definitely be seeking out her earlier work. I loved the humour within the pages of this wonderful book, it had so much depth, from lighter funny moments to seriously dark humour that had me laughing out loud so many times.
On Hampstead Heath touched me in ways that I honestly could not have anticipated. It possesses a gentleness that I find exceptional and rare in literary fiction. It is a novel that is so gentle, but at the same time it really packs a punch!
This novel considers the impact of social media and ‘going viral’ on actual journalism. Thorn considers herself to be a serious journalist who keeps her finger on the pulse of cutting edge news, but when she finds herself effectively demoted to providing heart-warming fluff pieces of good news, she ends up (with the help of some alcohol) fabricating a story with dire consequences when her submission goes viral.
I adored Thorn and her complexities. She is instantly thrown into an out of control whirlwind where her one silly fabrication ends up snowballing with hilarious consequences. I loved that she retained such a strong friendship with her ex-husband, and found it really refreshing, and the complete antithesis of my own experiences.
I found the humour to be beautifully constructed layers of the most subtle kinds of humour from light-hearted witticisms to darkly sarcastic barbs.
I honestly don’t think I could have loved On Hampstead Heath more than I did, and I know that by the end of the year I will still consider it to be one of the finest pieces of literature that I have read this year.
Marika Cobbold’s delightful novel On Hampstead Heath provides an extremely humorous and poignant snapshot of the highs and lows of social media and the prevalence and impact of ‘fake news’.
Many thanks to Amber Choudhary, Georgina Moore, Midas PR, Arcadia Books and Marika Cobbold for the proof of On Hampstead Heath and the invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour below.
About the author:
Marika Cobbold was born with newspaper ink flowing through her veins. She used to visit her father and grandfather at their offices at the Gothenburg-Post, the Swedish broadsheet her grandfather had rescued from oblivion decades earlier. At hone, when Marika wasn’t reading, she listened as the grown-ups around her discussed the issues of the day, and to the stories told by her mother and great aunt, who was a writer.
She left Sweden for England when she was nineteen, with vague plans of studying law, but eventually what her grandfather called ‘the family curse’ caught up with her, and some years later she wrote her first novel, Guppies For Tea. She has been writing ever since.