Title: Meredith, Alone
Author: Claire Alexander
Pages: 368 Pages
Publisher: Penguin 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.
First, new friends Tom and Celeste burst into her life. Then an estranged sister she hasn’t spoken to in years.
Suddenly her carefully curated home is no longer a safe place to hide.
Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door . . .
What an absolutely special story.
Meredith, Alone is – unsurprisingly – the story of Meredith. She is a social recluse and insulates her world to only the bare minimum of people. She spends her days baking, doing jigsaws, working from home, looking after her cat and that is about it. However, it seems that the world doesn’t want Meredith to stay like this and with the ever growing team of people in her life wanting more for Meredith, she has to start making some serious decisions.
Meredith is an unforgettable character. Claire Alexander could have gone a completely different way to make her memorable. To make her kooky and a bit strange but it is Meredith strength that shines off the page even when she is presenting her at her lowest.
The story is heartwarming but not twee. Alexander doesn’t follow expectations in some areas such as relationship development and the narrative is all the stronger for it. It is also the exploration of the complex relationship of family and how certain traumas can often have lasting effects. Alexander doesn’t justify them or tie them in a neat bow she allows people’s behaviour to just be what it is without trying to overcomplicate things.
Please find yourself a copy of Meredith, Alone. It truly is a great story.
Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander is available now.
For more information regarding Claire Alexander (@ClaireAWriter) please visit www.claire-alexander.co.uk.
For more information regarding Penguin Michael Joseph (@MichaelJBooks) please visit their Twitter account.