Saturday, 18 February 2017

Review - Because I Was Lonely by Hayley Mitchell

It’s always a sign of a brilliant book when you sit down to write a review and genuinely don’t know where to start, how to do it the justice that it so desperately deserves. This was most certainly the case with Because I Was Lonely by Hayley Mitchell that I did not hesitate to award five stars to. Put simply, it was a truly stunning piece of fiction and a wonderful debut novel. 

In the book we are introduced to Rachel and Adam, old school friends who thanks to Facebook are getting back in touch with eachother after a period of silence during which both have married and had children. With Rachel struggling with both her marriage and post-natal depression and Adam trying to recover from PTSD following a dreadful car accident that killed both of his parents, it’s fair to say that life’s pretty difficult for the pair. Both desperate to recover for the sake of their families, Rachel and Adam find a great deal of comfort in communicating with eachother via Facebook, but what will the consequences be when this turns into an obsession?

One thing that must be said is that I feel the characters in this book have all been perfectly created, they are all characters who seem incredibly real and those whose lives you quickly become wrapped up in. With the story being told from the viewpoint of multiple important characters, you really get the chance to see the bigger picture and this is something which undoubtedly works in this books favour. Whether good or bad, Hayley successfully managed to make me feel something for each of the characters involved and I couldn’t turn the pages of the book quickly enough as I became desperate to find out what would happen to them next in their world. 

A very strong theme in this book is that of mental health, something that I am always interested in reading about and I have to say that I think Hayley has handled this topic in a beautiful and sensitive manner. It was certainly emotive and very powerfully written for as I was reading of the trauma the characters were experiencing there were many times when I found myself with tears in my eyes. That said nothing felt exaggerated and everything felt very real, giving an honest insight into what it can be like to suffer from any psychological illness and have those around you really not understand what you’re going through in the slightest. It seemed to demonstrate how important important it can be to have just one person in your life who knows what it’s like. 

Whilst I wouldn’t say that Because I Was Lonely was a cheerful book, it was one of the best I’ve read so far this year and I’m so glad I picked it up. Told at a good pace, the book was very engaging and I really couldn’t help but devour it all in one sitting. With Because I Was Lonely, Hayley has become an author whose books I will now eagerly look forward to and I can’t wait to see where her writing will take us to next.