Red / Black is a debut novel from new author Rachel Atherton-Charvat.
It tells the story of Sarah Hughes. Sarah is a dedicated wife and mother. She loves her husband, she loves her children. But she has another, secret, passion. She is a closet gambler.
Although Sarah's life looks to be idyllic, settled to a nice, comfortable life in leafy Cheltenham with her husband of 20 plus year and her children. But there are secret issues that impacting on Sarah, she has never recovered from the loss of a child killed during a car accident when Sarah was driving the car.
The trauma is revisited upon her when her husband decides to accept a job at a British military base in Germany.
When the family has moved to Germany she finds that her depressive illness has returned. She feels isolated and the problems of the military life worsens her problems and she takes up online gambling, in secret. After all, what harm could it do?
However, as her gambling escalates to a level where it might become a problem for Sarah in more ways than one, she starts to realise that there are problems within her marriage that she had either not noticed or which had been hidden from her.
Is her husband all that he appeared to be? Can Sarah save herself from her gambling addiction? And what other disasters will impact on her life before the end of this epic tale?
It's a finely crafted novel which examines mental health issues in an intelligent and thoughtful way, yet without losing sight of the compelling interwoven stories.
It's published by Matador at £9.99.