Looking for a nice slow burn to get you through the weekend? Check out this next review.
The Girl Who Couldn’t Leave by Catherine Miller
Fiona Dexter isn’t the girl she used to be.
It’s been five years since she moved into the house on leafy Wellington Drive, with its bright red door and colourful flowers in the garden. Since then, she’s never stepped outside. It’s the only way she can live without constantly looking over her shoulder – the one chance she has of keeping the past in the past.
If she could only walk out of the front door, her life would be different. She could find her way back to the person she once was. She could trade nights on the sofa for a cinema trip with friends. She could meet her parents at the café around the corner, with its delicious brownies. Maybe she could even fall in love.
Except for Fiona, those few yards to her front gate might as well be a million miles. Outside, there’s no telling who might be waiting…
Then one day single mother Bethany shows up holding two-year-old Evie, desperate for help, and their arrival might just change everything.
Once Fiona lets them in, she finds the safety of her carefully planned days has lost its spark. Staying inside is still the safest option, but now she’s felt the warmth of Evie’s hugs and danced her socks off with Bethany, she realises what she’s been missing. But can Fiona let go of her past for a chance at happiness? And when she’s put to the test, will love be more powerful than fear?
I really have to start paying more attention to book blurbs. All that stuck with me was that this was a book about a woman who hadn’t leave her home in five years. Of course, I then expected a story that was darker and more sinister, hence skewing my expectations of The Girl Who Couldn’t Leave. However, now I have given myself a few days between finishing the book and writing this review, I realised it is a good read in its own right.
The love story element to this book is very refreshing and pure. It doesn’t feel forced not false. Likewise, the relationship between Fiona and Evie. I liked how it reflected on loneliness and how we all need someone to be there for us at times – something I think we all recognise following the various lockdowns of the last year.
Although this was intended to be a lighter book, I would have liked it to go deeper on the subject of agoraphobia. I think it could have shed light on a topic that is not well understood without making the story to heavy.
Sounds like something you’d like to read? Pick up your copy here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.