EXCERPT: This evening she looked at the lit windows of the tall houses, standing like sentinels in a proud curve, and wondered, as she often did, about the lives that went on behind them, picturing the people she nodded to or greeted during the course of the day.
‘Morning Mrs Williams! … Yes, it is a bit chilly; stay warm. ‘
‘Hello Mr Jeffries. How are you today? … Oh, I’m so glad to hear it. If you need anything, you know where we are. ‘
‘Well, hello Fifi – aren’t you full of energy today!’ Rae loved to pet the cute little Shih-tzu and would smile at Fifi’sowner, the quiet young woman who never responded with anything other than a brief nod and a stony silence, her eye contact non-existant.
Yes, she wondered about the lives of these people, her neighbours with whom she lived cheek by jowl, bumping into them in their pyjamas as they put the bins out, listening to them row, cry, sing. . . She knew so many intimate details of their lives, but not their first names or their favorite colors or even why Fifi’s mum was so painfully shy. It was a strange and wonderful situation and one that she felt was peculiarly British; she considered the possibility that if the residents of Lawns Crescent had slightly less stiff upper lips and more open arms, she might have answers to all the above.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Girl In the Corner is the poignant tale of a woman who has always been there for her family. But will they be there for her?
Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweethearts. They’ve shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard’s larger-than-life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.
Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would-be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven’t in years. But in the break from real life, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddenly she’s questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one-sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees?
When Howard comes looking for reconciliation, Rae has a choice to make: keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.
MY THOUGHTS: I usually love Amanda Prowse’s writing, the way she makes the reader run the gamut of their emotions, but The Girl in the Corner felt a little flat to me. Even though I think that most of us have, at some time, suffered a lack of self esteem, I still found Rae hard to relate to. It took me 90% of the book before I felt anything for her and I am still not sure why. . .
It is a perfectly good story. A story many of us are familiar with, either through our own experiences, or of those of friends. It is a story of love and betrayal, of friendship being tested by circumstances, of grief in many forms, of choices made and not made.
The characters didn’t seem as well formed as in books I have previously read by this author. And I detested their names! I did shed a tear in one place, but overall this was not a memorable read.
THE AUTHOR: Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2597736338