Title: Invisible Girl: A heartbreaking page turner with an unexpected ending
Publication Day: 30/05/2019
Author: JILL CHILDS
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Apple Books: https://apple.co/2EKiDUn
A heartbreaking story of family secrets from the USA Today bestselling author of Gracie’s Secret. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain.
I know you. I know you in a way you can’t even imagine. I have been searching for you in the years since you wrote that letter – the letter that told me you were looking for me too. But now that I’ve found you, I don’t know if I can say the terrible truth of what I am. It would ruin your perfect life. It would hurt your beautiful daughter.
So, I hesitate – bide my time, for now. This morning, you’re running late and your little girl, tugged by the hand, scurries to keep up with you. She’s clean but a little scrawny. Maybe that’s because you struggle with the bills; maybe she’s just made that way.
I know what it is to have lost a child. I pray you never learn how that feels. But I can’t wait forever… and when I finally tell you my secret, will it break you like it did me all those years ago?
Invisible Girl by Jill Childs is quite an emotional read. Although this is the first book I have read by Childs, it certainly will not be my last.
Maddy is a homeless alcoholic living in the streets of London. Maddy’s life has not been an easy one and she blames herself for things that have happened in the past, not sure if she can ever make things right again. Things slowly take a turn for Maddy when five year old Rosie takes a liking to her much to the dismay of her mother Becca. As their lives become entwined in ways Maddy could never have imagined, Maddy starts to become hopeful for a future, but will her secret, once it is revealed, have the power to destroy her?
Jill Childs takes every day issues, such as homelessness, and weaves such a powerful and heartbreaking story. I don’t think most people ever really stop to think or help someone who is homeless. There is such a huge stigma around the homeless where most people believe anyone homeless either has a mental illness or is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. While this may be true for some, it is not true for all. Jill Childs shows both the horror and compassionate side towards the homeless. Becca is at first repulsed by Maddy, not wanting her daughter anywhere near her. Did she feel sympathy? Sure, but she certainly did not go out of her way to help. It takes a five year old girl, Rosie, to open the eyes of those around her and embrace Maddy into her life treating her as a human being.
Becca is a down on her luck mother trying to do right by her daughter. Often times, barely making enough to put food on the table or presents under the Christmas tree. She has recently left her controlling husband and is basically just trying to survive day by day. To say she is one step up from being homeless is an understatement. Becca is friends with Sarah, her neighbor while sarah’s daughter, Ella is best friends with Rosie. Sarah too is keeping secrets. Secrets that could destroy her life if ever revealed. To be honest, Rosie was definitely the star of this story. Even at five years old she shows so much compassion and embraces Maddy with a childlike innocence. While I did like Becca, I think she should have been a bit more understanding towards Maddy because Becca knows what it is like to struggle financially.
Jill Childs writing flows so effortlessly and easily. Her poetic prose gripped me right from the start and I found myself having to stop as the story really impacted me in so many different ways. Childs shows the human side to homelessness. Really hitting home that these are people who have struggles in their life, but they are still people with the same feelings as anyone else. There are a few twists to this story as we try to figure out what is keeping Maddy in London and it is a real tearjerker. Near the end I was so emotional and teary eyed.
Invisible Girl is a riveting and thought provoking story that will stay with you even after the last page is read. A definite must read and one I wholeheartedly give five stars to. Outstanding!
Jill has always loved writing – real and imaginary – and spent 30 years travelling the world as a journalist, living overseas and reporting wherever the news took her. She’s now made her home in London with her husband and twin girls who love stories as much as she does. Although she’s covered everything from earthquakes and floods, riots and wars, she’s found some of the most extraordinary stories right here at home – in the secrets and lies she imagines behind closed doors on ordinary streets, just like yours.
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