Jane Corry has deftly captured the devastation that a childhood trauma can have upon a whole life in I Looked Away. Some people in this world just don’t have much luck and poor old Ellie is certainly one of them! The book follows Ellie from a young girl in a ‘normal’ family all the way through to her becoming and grandmother and along the way she endures some pretty awful events. Most people would be unlikely to go through one of the things Ellie has to cope with and yet this poor lady attracts trouble like a magnet. Unfortunately, so very close to the truth as early childhood trauma often has a lifelong impact.
There are several converging threads throughout the book and I read the ‘young Ellie’ thread pretty much wanting to put the book down and walk away as it was somewhat evident where it was heading and I just wanted to avoid it!
The homelessness elements of the book I thought were also brilliantly portrayed – whether people realise it or not most of us are only ever a few steps away from homelessness, it can happen in such a variety of ways and yet as a society we simply do not do enough to help those in need.
Overall a sad but fabulous ‘wicked stepmother’ tale with a twist – I loved it!
Synopsis: Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.
Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.
Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.
And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…