Thank you to the author, publisher and Love Books Tours for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
It’s not very often I say this, but I really don’t think the official blurb does this book justice. Whilst obviously a correct summary, there’s no way to tell that if you pick this book up, you hold in your hands something wondrous, sentimental, lyrical and touching.
The story follows Ellie, who lives a nomadic life with her dog, Jack. Eking out a living selling homemade dolls at craft fairs around the country, there is one doll she can’t bear to finish. Because this doll represents her past and unimaginable pain which she isn’t ready to face up to. There’s something sickening in the background as the story unveils, as if something has rotted in a cupboard at some point you know you’re going to be confronted with what’s inside.
There were times when Ellie frustrated me but other times when I completely empathised and wished I could give her a hug. I love Tracey Scott-Townsend’s characterisation, particularly the way she took me from loathing Jonah and Ellie’s mother to making peace with them by the end of her novel. As for Ellie’s father, he’s a different matter entirely…
When Ellie finally feels able to open up about the pain and loss she’s living with, my heart was breaking but I also felt relief to finally see what was lurking behind the metaphorical cupboard door.
I’m highly recommending this one to readers who love character-driven books, moving between memories and different time periods.