Book review: I Looked Away by Jane Corry

I’m always fascinated by how one mistake can change someone’s whole life so was immediately drawn to this book.

It starts with Ellie, who’s in an unhappy marriage and has just made a startling discovery, looking after her grandson Josh when the unthinkable happens. We’re then taken back into her past where another, similar, terrible incident took place.

A second storyline is narrated by Jo, a Big Issue seller who Ellie encounters. Dual narratives are tricky to get right and I often find myself more engaged by one story then the other and skipping sections to get back to my preferred narrator. However, this wasn’t the case here as both stories were so compelling, intriguing and authentic.

If you’re an emotional reader be warned – this story is heart-warming one moment, heartbreaking the next. For me it switched at all the right moments, taking me on a rollercoaster and making it very hard to put down.

Ellie’s childhood is tragically changed by her mother’s death and her father’s marriage to a woman who doesn’t have much time for her. When a new baby comes along things start to get complicated and it’s clear Ellie’s life has taken a shocking turn but how did she end up in prison?

Jo has endured an abusive past and is now trying to survive on the streets when she meets a young boy and they help each other – but what is she hiding?

There were one or two things that confused me at the start but if you feel the same, my advice is to read on because it will all make sense!

A bonus for me was that I recognised all the places in the book which made it even easier to visualise.

I’d highly recommend this cleverly crafted book to anyone who enjoys a true psychological thriller.

I Looked Away is published by Penguin. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending a copy of this book which has in no way influenced my opinion.

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