Remember the days when you trusted the things you read in the newspaper. Reliable sources of information from reliable journalists. It seems that the truth has got lost in some other version of it and as the way we get our news has changed into the twenty first century we have to now stop and think about what we are being told.
Marika Cobbold takes this concept and weaves a novel for the here and now and even probably a bit of future forecasting as well. Thorn Marsh is a journalist and she has fought hard for her role, the arbiter of the truth at the cost of everything else in her life including her marriage.
But when a new proprietor of her newspaper doesn’t want old fashioned journalism any more she is side-lined to the more good side of news with a large helping of the best wallpaper; places to eat; what to buy your mother in law for Christmas type of journalism.
When faced with potentially losing your job or diluting her own principles an integrity, Thorn seeks solace with alcohol and her ex husband Nick. He unwittingly shares a photo he took of someone jumping off a bridge on Hampstead Heath, the photo makes it look like an angel. When Thorn wakes the next day, it seems that the photo is news everywhere and the story of the Angel on Hampstead Heath saving someone’s life is big news.
Big news written by Thorn, but not true.
Thorn is suddenly drawn into maintaining a lie and telling the truth and when she goes in search of who this man is, she suddenly finds herself finding out about him and in turn herself. Of course bubbling away always is the truth and the real truth might need to be hidden to protect everyone – and Thorn struggles with that concept.
This was an interesting premise for a book and was woven with other threads of stories within the book, which Cobbold does so effectively, they might have seemed irrelevant but when you close the final page you can see that they have all been thought out and put together with care.
I like being challenged and especially reflecting on how the media has changed over time and what we can expect from what is almost being thrust at us on an hourly basis – is it true? Where is the truth? I do know that this is a true book to showing you that all is not what it seems, whether it be photos in papers or your own next door neighbour. There is always a story but it is finding the true one which proves to be the most difficult in life.
On Hampstead Heath is out now
Thank you to the publisher and Georgina Moore at MidasPR for the opportunity to read this book.