Title: Why She Left
Author: Leah Mercer
Publication Date: December 13, 2021
Page Count: 295
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
When I open the door and see her, my mind starts churning. Why are they here? What do they want? And why did my daughter leave in the first place? Am I finally, after all of these years, going to find out? I take a deep breath and usher them in…
Ruth has spent every day of the last fifteen years wondering why her daughter Isobel left. Walking around the school to which she has given her life, every child she sees reminds her of her family’s bright future which vanished in an instant.
So when Ruth opens the door to find Isobel and a teenage grandson she never knew existed, she feels a rush of relief. Despite the years of hurt she never stopped loving Isobel and wants to help rebuild her life. Enrolling her grandson at the school, Ruth wants to make sure they stay for good.
Isobel has spent her life running from a painful secret. A secret which could have destroyed her family. Now, as she flees a bad relationship, she knows that her childhood home is the only place where she can be safe.
But as Isobel looks at her son in his crisp new uniform, she is taken straight back to the reason she ran all those years ago. Soon it becomes clear that she is not the only one tormented by the past. Someone is prepared to destroy everything Ruth and Isobel hold dear. Can Isobel confront her darkest secret before it is too late?
From the bestselling author of Who We Were Before comes a powerful and emotional page-turner about devastating family secrets. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Emily Bleeker and Imogen Clark.
Why She Left by Leah Mercer is a mystery/thriller novel. The story in Why She Left is one that is told by changing the point of view between the two main characters in each chapter with a bit of flashing back to past events.
When Isobel was sixteen she left her home with a huge secret weighing her down but she was determined to make a life on her own. Isobel now has no other choice but to return to her mother’s home as she needs to get herself and son to safety from an abusive relationship.
Ruth never knew why her daughter Isobel left her when she was sixteen but when she opens the door to her daughter and a grandson she didn’t know she had she can’t turn them away. Ruth is excited to welcome her family back not only to her home but to the private school her family begun generations ago but she doesn’t know the school is the place in Isobel’s nightmares.
Why She Left is the first book I’ve read by Leah Mercer and I was glad to find that her writing flowed well between the characters and gained my interest. The story is a solid mystery/thriller plot but being a reader of so many books the twists and turns weren’t not a surprise and dare I say a bit predictable to me. Despite figuring out the whos and whys I did find this one a decent read that I would rate at three and a half stars and be interested in reading this author again.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Leah Mercer was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Her first ambition was to be a journalist, but after completing a master’s in journalism, she soon realised she preferred anything other than reporting the news. After trying her hand at public relations, teaching and recruitment in various countries around the world, she finally settled in London and returned to writing… fiction, this time. Her first two novels, Who We Were Before and The Man I Thought You Were, were shortlisted at the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Leah loves books, running and visiting historic houses with her husband and their son.
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