Hidden by Annabel Chown

I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Hidden by Annabel Chown @annabelchown arranged by Love Book Tours @lovebooksgroup 

The Blurb

Annabel lies awake in the early hours after a night partying. She’s not worrying about how to get rid of an unsuitable man in her bed, but what to do about the hard lump she’s found on her left breast. An absorbing story of what happens when life swerves in unimaginable directions.

At the age of thirty-one – a successful architect and a single Londoner – Annabel is diagnosed with breast cancer. Overnight, her quest for love turns into a fight for life, and more.

Plunged into a world of treatment, which she keeps hidden from all but those closest to her, she learns a new way of living in London, a city whose moods and seasons reflect her own.

Hidden is a memoir of great courage and determination, told with wry humour and an architect’s eye. The story of how Annabel rebuilds her future will bring hope to anyone who has been forced to radically change direction in life. 

The Excerpt

The following Saturday, I fly to Zurich with Tanya and Axel. We’re meeting my parents there and going to a big family party, being held by mum’s cousins.  

Lots of her relatives live there. Her side of the family are Jewish, German-born, but had to escape the Nazis in the thirties. Most of them came to Zurich, but Mum and her mother went to Rio de Janeiro as her uncle lived there. She arrived in London twenty years later, on a cold January day in the late fifties, married a Yorkshireman a decade later, and has never left. 

The party’s not until Sunday lunchtime and on Saturday evening my parents take us to a restaurant overlooking Lake Zurich. Over dinner, my sister starts talking about the film we saw last weekend and how funny it was. 

‘Why do you have to go on and on about it?’ I say, not wanting to be reminded.

‘I can talk about whatever I want.’ She’s surprised and hurt by my sudden outburst. I apologise but later my mother says, ‘I don’t understand you. We’re here for a nice weekend and you’ve been irritable from the moment we arrived.’ 

I thought I’d hidden it well. But somehow, she always seems to be able to pick up on things. I want to tell her but we’re never alone. And as long as she doesn’t know, it can still be just a story in my mind. 

The party’s in a beautiful sixties house in the hills above the lake. Before lunch there’s champagne and one of my younger cousins, a music student, plays a Mozart violin sonata. It’s a sunny day and the large sliding glass doors onto the garden are open. 

At the dessert buffet, I pile my plate with white chocolate mousse and profiteroles, while thinking didn’t some woman write a book recently about how dairy products can cause breast cancer? Well, if I’ve got it already, I’m probably going to die, so I may as well eat what I want.

The Author

Annabel Chown was born in London and read Architecture at Cambridge University. She worked as an architect for leading London practices and taught architectural design at Kingston University, then at thirty-one she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started making notes while going through treatment and discovered a passion for writing.

‘Hidden’, her memoir about having cancer while young and single, emerged from this. Her writing about breast cancer has been published in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ and ‘Red’ magazine. Annabel is also a yoga teacher. She loves cities, particularly London, and food.

You can read more, including blog posts, at annabelchown.com

Instagram: @annabelchown

Buy Link https://amzn.to/2NUa7Wr

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