Posted 20 hours ago

If I Let You Go: The Heartbreaking, Shocking Richard and Judy Book Club Pick

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The ending is written in a way that you can draw your own conclusions and I liked the fact that things were not rushed and wrapped up in a bow neat and tidy. When Janet is offered the chance of redemption, she grasps it with both hands, graciously accepting her unexpected elevation from insignificance to celebrity in the wake of her heroic rescue of a little girl in a train crash. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Ruth Jones, author of Love Untold Heartrending and surprising, with an very believable protagonist, this is a tale of loss, grief, abuse and fractured relationships. I found myself rooting for Janet all the way through and think this would make an excellent TV/film adaptation.

As we learn the true story of that night, and see the damage caused by the death of Janet’s daughter years earlier, it became harder to see this story in black and white terms. This was an extremely emotional and suspenseful read , I was genuinely fearful at times , I did also shed tears during this . One evening, she’s had as much as she can take and she makes a break for it channelling her inner Thelma or Louise. The chapters were nice and short which made it easy to read and I found myself eager to keep turning those pages.All the things she's unable to do with her soul can be achieved with a damp cloth and a splash of bleach. However, the guilt she still carries about a devastating loss that happened eleven years ago, cannot be erased. She lost her child when she was only 7 years old, this was 11 years ago now, and her husband blames her for it. She lives with her husband who won’t be winning any “husband of the year” awards and she’s still grieving an unimaginable loss eleven years ago. Janet finds herself caught up in a situation and can’t remember anything , then when she remembers , she is stuck in a lie , now I couldn’t find it within myself to dislike her for it .

I really disliked Colin throughout and hated the fact that he was constantly punishing her for what had happened to their daughter. But when Janet is involved in a train crash and saves the life of a little girl, it seems like fate has come full circle to offer Janet another chance at both life and redemption. It emerges that this happened in a car accident while Janet was driving, having been in the process of leaving Colin, and he has blamed her ever since and guilted her into coming back to him and allowing herself to be punished in perpetuity. This book tells the tale of Janet, a woman who is coming to terms with loss and trying the navigate the way out of her trapped life.

Thrust into the public eye and seen as a heroine, Janet slowly starts to regain memories of that night and it’s not quite what everyone is led to believe.

We meet Janet on what would have been the 18th birthday of her daughter, Claire, who died in a tragic car accident 11 years earlier. Then, Janet finds herself involved in a train crash and, recognising the chance to do what she couldn’t all those years ago, she makes a decision. This one had my anxiety levels up for the whole ride, wondering how Janet was ever going to get the life she deserved after miring herself so terribly in untruths and discomfort. But Janet's story isn't quite what it seems, and as events spiral out of control, she soon discovers that coming clean isn't an option. One day Janet finds herself thrust into the spotlight after saving a celebrity chefs daughter from the wreckage of a train crash - she sees this as her chance to start over and finally be forgiven.

The way she is written made me connect with her instantly, down to the way she thinks and the way she sees the world through such an intensely anxious lens. However, both stories are nuanced and multi-layered, allowing the reader to join the dots on the wonderfully character-led novels. When Janet wakes in hospital with a head injury, she is thought to have been involved in a serious train crash.

I also enjoyed Charlotte Levins “ If I Can’t Have You” which was also darkly original and can only say I think this is even better. She is very real and I liked how the author lets the reader into her innermost thoughts and feelings, allowing her to confide her darkest secrets so that we understand her rather than judge. This is an intelligent forensic examination of an abusive relationship and has at its centre a woman who is tormented by her share of responsibility for the death of her young daughter. A really well written, believable story and you really could feel the weight of Janets grief and her guilt as she is pulled further into her rather unwitting deception. A deeply human story that manages to be both heartbreaking and hopeful, I highly recommend adding this one to your TBR.Janet lives in a loveless marriage with an unpleasant husband, her life lived in the shadow of grief from loosing her daughter eleven year ago.

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