Title: Meredith, Alone
Author: Claire Alexander
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Meredith Maggs hasn’t left her house in 1,214 days. But she insists she isn’t alone.
She has her cat Fred. Her friend Sadie visits when she can. There’s her online support group, StrengthInNumbers. She has her jigsaws, favourite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson, the internet, the Tesco delivery man and her treacherous memories for company.
But something’s about to change. Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door . . . Does she have the courage to overcome what’s been keeping her inside all this time?
Having read this novel, I think Meredith is one of my new favourite characters! She’s likeable and entertaining, and the entire way through the book I was rooting for her…
Meredith, Alone is a clever, heartwarming read about Meredith, a woman who, she informs us nonchalantly, hasn’t left her house for 1,214 days. She lives alone with her cat, Fred, for company, and throughout the novel we jump backwards and forwards in time as we slowly uncover what happened in Meredith’s past to leave her feeling unable to leave her house.
This book manages to be shocking at times and sad, but also uplifting. The author has skillfully presented a story that is not action-packed or tense but actually fairly slow – but nevertheless very engaging, and the star of the show is definitely Meredith. She’s got her problems and they’re presented sensitively, with a real understanding of how anxiety and depression can affect different people in different ways.
Meredith, Alone is an intriguing, pleasing character study, and I hugely enjoyed it.
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.