I Looked Away by Jane Corry
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 512
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
YOU MADE A MISTAKE. BUT THEY’RE SAYING IT’S MURDER.
‘A fearsomely good thriller’ Nicci French
‘Sensitive and thought-provoking’ Adele Parks
‘Thrilling, emotional and pacy with a clever twist I didn’t expect’ Claire Douglas
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of My Husband’s Wife, comes a beautifully written psycholgocial thriller for fans of Lisa Jewell and Clare Mackintosh.
Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anyone else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swears it’s over now, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.
Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And just for a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. What happens next will change her life forever.
Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.
And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…
“I Looked Away” by Jane Corry introduces us to Ellie, from being a young girl until she becomes grandmother. When she was 5 years old, she has witnessed her mother’s death and had to grow up with her father who then remarried a neighbour, bringing a stepmother who detested Ellie and a step – brother Michael to the family. She’s now married to an ex – University lecturer Roger, has two children and an adored grandson Josh. When she’s looking after him one Monday afternoon, something tragic happens, something that will put Ellie in prison and is going to change her whole life.
Jo has her own prison experiences but now she’s homeless, travelling from Bristol to Devon and Cornwall. She’s a Big Issue seller. They meet each other when Ellie runs away after what has happened to Josh. The stories of the two women meander around each other, back and forward in time, but do they have something in common?
The story is told from Ellie and Jo’s points of view and those two personal accounts are more than absorbing. They are mixed with little mentions of some other relationship that is like a dangerous shadow. We have two different characters that at the first sight have nothing in common but whose stories, for some reason, intertwine, meandering around each other, the dual timeline gradually converges, until we eventually get the final reveal, the whole picture emerges and the truth comes out. The author slowly paints a picture of Ellie, of her past and present, and we are able to see all the events, like the death of her mother, then getting a step – mother and brother, that shaped her to be the person she is today. The circumstances took all her happiness, carefreeness away from her, she finds herself in situations that she never should experience. She starts to feel lost and isolated and really, she never learns or comes to terms of how to deal with grief. Manipulated by her step – mother, then by her husband, Ellie’s life seems to be one huge battle.
Slowly and subtly, we get to know Jo’s background and her hidden past. Jane Corry has done such a great job writing about Jo’s time on the streets, she captured all the reality and brutality of this situation – she brings the lives of the homeless with raw honesty to the pages, and this part of the book must have been so passionately researched, enlightening us more about this subject, giving some answers, explaining.
I really like Jane Corry’s writing style – it seems so uncommitted, with distance but it works so well in this psychological thriller and you can feel author’s heart in every single word and the research that went into the story is meticulous and made it eye – opening and showing that not everything is always either black or white, that there are also other shades of grey. It’s simply extremely well written and crafted and the pace is just right, seamlessly flowing, with characters and time
“I Looked Away” was a very emotional story that touches on mental health, despair, love and loss, bullying, homelessness, about giving when you yourself don’t have much. It really captured my heart and my attention. It was incredibly well plotted, with twists and turns and mystery to solve that you know can happen at any time, teasing you all the time and making you want to read more and more, and then it comes, expected yet unexpectedly and leaves you feeling dizzy.. This was emotionally charged, captivating and taking your breath away psychological thriller, dealing in a brilliant way with some very realistic issues that people must deal with every day. Highly recommended!
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