I Looked Away by Jane Corry
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Thriller
Published: June 2019, Penguin Random House UK, Viking Books
Swathi’s Rating: 4/5
Verdict: Uplifting and utterly addictive
I have an undying love for domestic thrillers because they feel close to home and very relatable, and Jane Corry is the master of the genre! This was a deeply unsettling, unpredictable yet uplifting women’s fiction I have read this year.
About the Book:
Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anyone else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swears it’s over now, 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 just for a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. What happens next 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…
The chapters shuffle between the story’s two women – Ellie and Jo.
Meet Ellie, in prison, for what reasons we don’t know yet. She’s been married to her handsome yet sometimes cheating husband Roger for over 2 decades. Ups and downs in their married caused by Rogers’s affairs throughout their married life and Ellie still holds on to it for her now-grown up children Amy and Luke. She’s doing good now – she has a part-time job at home, in a pretty neighborhood and all is good. She babysits her daughter’s son Josh at times when Amy goes for work.
One fine day, when she takes her eyes off the kid for one moment to glance at her husband’s frantic phone call and when she looks back, the kid is gone!
Jo is a homeless woman whose days and nights are spent on streets, with hunger and dirty clothes as she suffers to manage securing one meal a day, if she is lucky.
As the chapters roll by, we get to learn more about these two women, their difficult childhood, abusive relationships, depression, cheating spouses, prison life and many factors that connect the two unrelated women at some point in their lives. You’ll have to keep guessing until the story reveals itself the connection.
Jane Corry has sculptured an emotionally addictive, psychological thriller with two strong women who would fight against any odds, despite being pushed down again and again in life. Some chapters made me cry, some made me pause and think of what I’ve read and realise the intended meaning of the author’s words. Some scenes that happen to Jo on streets as she wander without shelter are terrifying to imagine. Meanwhile there are also some kind people in the world today who respect the women for who they are, and that’s a kind thing to know. The tension in the chapters make you uncomfortable and you’ll have to race through the chapters and characters to know what the hell happened THAT day!! I really couldn’t put down the book until I reached the last page.
Many, many thanks to Penguin Random House Uk, Viking Books for the gorgeous paperback. All opinions are mine and no way biased.
Meet the Author:
Jane Corry is a former magazine journalist who spent three years working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. This often hair-raising experience helped inspire her Sunday Times-bestselling psychological thrillers, My Husband’s Wife, Blood Sisters, The Dead Ex and I Looked Away, which have been published in more than 35 countries. Jane was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University and is a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and My Weekly magazine.