In the midst of ISO I was prompted to go online shopping for some new books (in spite of my substantial TBR stack-s) by @louisadeaseyauthor and her blog advice to list ‘comparative titles’ on your book proposal. Knowing that such a beast is a wonderful tool to realise the structure of one’s own manuscript and its place in the great scheme of things, aka the book market I read with interest and quickly translated my first move into ‘I must have new books’. In a few clicks I found The Loudness of Unsaid Things, the debut novel from Hilde Hinton, released in April by @hachetteaustralia. With a fantastic title, and a protagonist that visits her mother within the walls of a ‘mind-hospital’, a theme I know intimately, it was carted without a moments hesitation. Hinton doesn’t disappoint. Her writing is authentic, imaginative, and clever. Her literary device of a secondary narrative is quite brilliant in its ambiguity and its simplicity. There was a small section near the beginning where I fretted for a few pages that we would spend too much time in the protagonist’s juvenile perspective, in spite of the page turning story that was unfolding. I would like to admit to and apologise for my unfounded fears that this book would end up on my half-read pile-s. Hinton’s novel turned out to be a great read and an inspiration to my own writing to boot. I finished it in under twenty-four hours, with tears aplenty. Seriously, there isn’t a writing mode more attuned to getting the feels than a well written fictionalised memoir, and Hinton’s brilliance in this regard is a wonderful homage to empathy – at every opportunity without exception. I went looking and found a story on Hinton, by Jo Abi, published prior to the release. ‘It took her six months to write the first draft, the story of which was based on three pieces of writing she had done years ago that she deemed “the best things I’d ever written” which didn’t tie together well, but she was determined to use them all.’ Oh how the writer’s soul sings when she realises she is not alone!