The Girl I Used To Be by Debbie Howells
Marie Kondo for the soul.
Anna and Will have been passing in and out of each other’s lives since they were just kids.
Now 20 years later, Anna is married - she has a lovely house, a step daughter in university and a husband with a good job.
What she doesn’t have is joy. When she runs into Will it sparks something in her, a longing for the Anna she used to be.
Together they embark on a journey to find what brings them joy, to discard what doesn’t and to become the people they always wanted to be.
But in finding themselves, can they also find each other?
|The Girl I Used To Be by Debbie Howells|
Having enjoyed The Life You Left Behind, I couldn’t wait to read this next novel from Debbie Howells and let’s just say I devoured it. France may only get a brief visit in this book, but it is another emotional read from an author whose words speak to my heart.
I enjoyed getting to know Anna and Will through the times their lives crossed paths over the years. They have always felt a connection, but each time they meet seems to coincide with a trauma or major life change for one or other of them, resulting in nothing but missed chances for the life they can only dream of. As the years tick by, it is so easy to slip into the routine of the mundane and lose sight of what makes us happy and what is important in life.
As Anna and Will grow from teenagers to life-weary adults, their maturity brings with it an acceptance that sometimes in life, the timings just don’t work, and maybe they are not meant to be. Their latest meet proves to be a catalyst that Anna in particular grasps and makes the decision to search for the happiness she realises she’s lost sight of and begin a new chapter in her life. This is a lesson we could all do with being reminded of and I loved the confidence these changes gave her.
The characters grew as their stories played out and despite the difficulties and obstacles, this is also a book filled with hope, love and heart-warming moments that kept me turning the pages and brought many smiles.
If you are looking for an emotional read that will whisk you away from life, I can recommend The Girl I Used To Be. You might also like The Life You Left Behind and you can read my review here.
Debbie Howells’s first novel, a psychological thriller, The Bones of You, was a Sunday Times bestseller for Macmillan. Four more bestsellers followed, including most recently The Vow, published by Avon. Fulfilling her dream of writing women’s fiction, she has found a home with Boldwood and her first title with them, The Life You Left Behind was published in February 2022.
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