2021 · Blog Tour · Book review

The Girl in the Maze by Cathy Hayward @CathyHayward7 @AgoraBooksLDN

Traversing three generations of women torn apart by family trauma, The Girl in the Maze explores the complex relationship and challenges involved in both mothering and being mothered.

‘I would caution you against delving into the past. The past is often best left exactly where it is.’

Emma Bowen has never had a close relationship with her mother, barely speaking with her in the last years of her life. But after her mother’s death, Emma finds something that might just explain the distance between them.

Discovering letters between her mother and grandmother, it seems to Emma that her mother has always been difficult.

As she searches for answers about her own childhood, Emma is drawn into the mystery of her mother’s enigmatic life. The more she finds, the more lost she feels, but Emma is determined to uncover her mother’s past, and the secrets held within it, whatever the cost.

My thoughts

Now I have to say that, this review, before I’ve even written any words will never do this book justice what so ever.

I started this book late one evening, I thought I’d get a little start before hitting the pillow but I only managed to get to about page 8 and stopped. The story opens and it’s shocking and it’s heart breaking and even just reading those few pages I found it hard to switch off.

The Girl in the Maze is the story of 3 women, we have Betty who opens the story, her daughter Margret and also Margaret’s daughter Emma. Through Emma and Betty we not only hear their story but Margaret’s as well.

Essentially the story focuses on mother daughter relationships and when Emma’s mother Margaret dies, Emma being an only child has to deal with clearing her mothers house. Having had a difficult relationship with her mother it’s a hard time for Emma and when she stumbles across a very well kept secret she’s urged by Margaret’s solicitor Graham to leave the past in the past. But can she do that?

I’ve never read a book like this before, it’s shocking yet absorbing, it’s a tough read yet it’s so moving. I couldn’t help feeling the characters pain, every emotion they felt I felt and it’s such a hard book to put down.

This is Cathy Hayward’s debut novel and its such a stunning, well written story. It covers some really dark topics and I can’t imagine how hard these would have been to write but I’m so pleased that Cathy Hayward did because this story will stay with me for a very long time.

Massive thanks to Agora Books for the arc and for the opposite to join the blog tour.

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