Review: On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold

Looking for a novel alive with the sharpest of prose and filled with heart and wit?

Then look no further than this week’s new release On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold, published by Arcadia Books. Thank you to Georgina Moore for my gifted copy.

Thorn Marsh is a journalist, whose career is the most important thing in her life. The pursuit of a story and the integrity within it is a fundamental part of her identity. And since her marriage break up it is close to the only thing in her life.

So when The New London Journal takes a new direction, one which Thorn can neither understand or support, she finds her world crashing down around her. Her questions and confrontational manner see her sidelined from her job as News Editor, and moved to the mid week supplement. Her new role involves seeking out good news stories, and it couldn’t be further from Thorn’s skill set!

In desperation, and almost accidentally Thorn files a story that takes the world by storm. The story of the celestial being doing good works on Hampstead Heath is an overnight sensation. Aided by social media, word of mouth and everything in between Thorn has suddenly broken the biggest story of the year.

The problem is it isn’t true.

And now Thorn finds herself in a race to undo the damage, whilst trying to maintain her reputation. For someone who has always prided herself on embracing the truth, what ever the cost, Thorn finds herself in entirely unknown terrain.

On Hampstead Heath is a brilliant exploration of how we live our lives and the fragile relationship the world around seems to share with truth. It explores the way social media has shaped not only the way events are reported but also the way society reacts to them.

Through razor sharp prose and glorious wit it highlights how we allow ourselves to manipulate truth and in turn to be manipulated by what we believe truth to be. It is a immersive novel, alive with flawed yet believable characters and a pacy prose.

One not to be missed.

Rachel