Reviewed on 2nd May 2019

The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse

Genre: Contemporary / Fiction / Women's Fiction
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The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse Synopsis

Rae-Valentine and Howard were childhood sweethearts. They’ve shared twenty-five peaceful years since they were brought together by Dolly, Howard’s larger-than-life sister. But now, on the night of their wedding anniversary, Howard reveals a shocking betrayal that leaves Rae reeling.

Heartbroken, she takes Dolly on her would-be anniversary trip to Antigua and the two women drink and dance and talk like they haven’t in years. But in the break from real life, Rae realises her choices have always been made for her, and suddenly she’s questioning not only her fragile marriage but also her one-sided friendships. Is she really the pushover everyone else sees?

When Howard comes looking for reconciliation, Rae has a choice to make: keep the peace, as she always has, or put herself first for once and find out who she really is.

The Girl in the Corner by Amanda Prowse Review

For Any Woman Who Has Ever Felt Less than Worthy

I never take much convincing when it comes to reading an Amanda Prowse novel. I have loved her work for many years now and enjoy delving back into her worlds like I am greeting an old friend after a long absence.

I will admit from the beginning though, that this was not a book I ‘read’ in the traditional sense. I listened to the audiobook on audible.

Now, for the purists out there who hate the idea of listening to an audiobook, and say quite openly that it is ‘not the same’ as reading a physical book – I wholeheartedly disagree. I used to think just like you, a book was not enjoyable unless you could physically turn the pages and dirty the tips of your fingers with the ink on the page. But over the years I have acquiesced and given in to the latest technologies available to help enjoy my love of the written word. I have enjoyed reading on my kindle now for a few years and audiobooks have been a constant companion.

You see, all three mediums together mean that I can enjoy my passion for literature no matter where in the world I am. Doing the school run, or airport trips, I can listen to my books in the car. Or while running, or out walking the dog.

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When I get a peaceful five minutes in the car on a long journey, I can flick through the latest pages on my kindle (which never leaves my handbag) and when at home I can enjoy the pure indulgence of flicking the pages of a ‘real book’.

You see, each medium has its advantages.

But this book is different, this author is different. I love Amanda Prowse’s books, I love to read them and stain the pages with my tears, I love that I can take her with me in my handbag wherever I go… but audio.. that offers something a little more special.

You see, Amanda voices her own audiobooks. And when it comes to The Girl in the Corner, the emotions I experienced when reading this book were only enhanced by the sound of Amanda’s voice as we are pulled through the life of her characters. There is something about Amanda reading the book herself that adds a certain amount of love and emotion to the book that I don’t feel would be there if read by anyone else.

This book is one that will grip the hearts of almost every woman who picks it up. Because let’s be honest, we have all been the ‘girl in the corner’ at one point or another. All felt less than worthy, felt like furniture. Felt a little neglected and overlooked.

Amanda has yet again drawn characters that feel so real. So relatable. She has this incredible ability to write stories that make you feel like you are a part of the world. As if this book was written just for you. These words were written solely to be absorbed by you directly. Just like that one love song you hear on the radio during a horrible heartbreak, you know the one, the one you are sure was written just for you… that is The Girl in the Corner. Written so these words, this story, this journey is absorbed by you and you alone. To remind you of your worth. To remind you of your own special qualities.

Rae-Valentine is no ordinary character in a book, written in a way to drive the story forward. No. She is not a character. She is every woman. Every little girl who has ever looked at her more vivacious best friend with a sigh in her heart and wondered why they were chosen by the popular boy. Rae is every mother who has ever put her family and children first. She is the best friend who stands in the shadows and lets others shine. Rae-Valentine is every woman at some point in time.

As we watch Rae navigate her new world, after a devastating revelation on her wedding anniversary threatens to topple her perfectly structured life, we wait patiently for her to recognise her own truth. Shouting at the pages that she deserves more. But how many of us take the time to step back and take a look in the mirror and plead with ourselves to make the hard decisions. To recognise our own strengths.

But it is not just Rae who is relatable. Her relationship with her parents and sister Debbie-Jo are so honest. Real life. Not in any way contrived or forced. Her honest and open approach to the love lives of her children shows a true understanding of translating real life onto the page without losing the drama or impact of fiction. Her friendship with Dolly is one of the most honest portrayals of a conflicted friendship that I have ever read. So honest in their reactions.

The Girl in the Corner is an impactful read for any woman who has ever questioned her place in this world or the significance of their journey. It is the raw, real and emotional rollercoaster of a life that could, and most probably is, lived out each and every day by millions of women across the globe.

The Girl in the Corner is loveable, heartbreaking, raw and real and is, as always, a credit to an author that seems to never ever miss a beat. Never a misstep. Never an inch too far. Just spot on. A family drama that reads as if it were an intimate diary entry.

Praise yet again for Amanda Prowse and a book that seems certain to crack and wither over the years as its pages are re-read and passed down to each and every woman I come across to recommend it to.

Published by: Lake Union
ISBN: 978-150390-499-6

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