Book Review: Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

“I move from my hiding place in the shadows. I stride out, towards the man, towards danger, my actions my own but my fate left wide open.”

The 2020 book by Lisa Jewell, Invisible Girl follows a group of people whose lives intersect when a young woman disappears. The Fours, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, dad Roan, a child psychologist, and their two teenage children have recently moved into the area; Owen, who lives across the road, has just been suspended from work after accusations of sexual misconduct; and young Saffyre Maddox who spent three years as a patient of Roan has now disappeared is feeling abandoned now that her therapy has ended. The Fours have a bad feeling about their neighbour, Owen, as he’s a bit creepy and there has been a surge in attacks in the area. Their lives collide when one Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears. The last person to see her? Owen. But is there more to the story?

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Book Review: The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

“I know as well as you do that only the individual has the key to change themselves. It’s buried deep inside each and every one of us and although someone else can help us to find the key, we’re the only ones who can use it.”

The House We Grew Up In is Lisa Jewell‘s 2013 book which follows the Bird family – Lorelei is the hippy mother who lives in the moment, Colin is the sweet and caring father, Meg is the eldest daughter who is very pragmatic, Beth is the beautiful one but a bit of a dreamer, and twins Rory and Rhys are each other’s opposites. They live in a honey-coloured house in a picture-perfect Cotswolds village, but life inside isn’t so appealing. One Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they’ve never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in, and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

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Book Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

“When you’re in love, you’ll forgive almost anything. It’s a trait that I’ve carried with me into adult life, unfortunately. I always fall in love with people who hate me.”

The 2019 book by Lisa Jewell, The Family Upstairs follows Libby Jones who, soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but that she’s also the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighbourhood. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well, and she is on a collision course to meet them.

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My 2018 Reading Wrap-Up

Over the past couple of years, I have documented every film that I have watched and reviewed them all using Letterboxd. As a way to motivate myself to read more, I thought I would do the same for what books I have been reading, using Goodreads as a way to set myself a reading challenge every year.

After reading only 6 books last year, I kept my target low this year and set myself the goal of 10 books. However, I somehow managed to read 20 books this year, mostly due to reading a book a day on my honeymoon.

Here’s how my 2018 challenge went, with a short review and rating for each of the books that I read:

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Book Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

“If she could rewind the timeline, untwist it and roll it back the other way like a ball of wool, she’d see the knots in the yarn, the warning signs. Looking at it backwards, it was obvious all along.”

Then She Was Gone is a 2017 book by Lisa Jewell, which sees a 15-year-old girl go missing just before her exams. 10 years later, her mother, Laurel, still hasn’t given up hope of finding her. But when she meets a charming stranger called Floyd in a cafe, Laurel’s breath is taken away by how much his nine-year-old daughter, Poppy, reminds her of Ellie. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. What really happened to Ellie? Where did she go? And who still has secrets to hide?

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