Published: March 2nd, 2023
Genre: Domestic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for If I Let You Go. Thank you to Chloe at Pan Macmillan for the invitation to take part, and to Bookbreak for the gifted copy of the book.
‘Simultaneously tragic and uplifting. And I have to say at times funny. Charlotte Levin is SUCH a clever writer . . . A magnificent read.’ – Ruth Jones, author of Love Untold
A gripping, darkly comic tale of searing loss, coercive control and the consequences of taking the wrong path.
Every morning Janet Brown goes to work cleaning offices. It calms her, cleanliness, neatness. All the things she’s unable to do with her soul can be achieved with a damp cloth and a splash of bleach. However, the guilt she still carries about a devastating loss that happened eleven years ago, cannot be erased.
Then, Janet finds herself involved in a train crash and, recognising the chance to do what she couldn’t all those years ago, she makes a decision. As news spreads of Janet’s actions, her story inspires everyone around her, and for the first time her life has purpose and the future is filled with hope.
But Janet’s story isn’t quite what it seems, and as events spiral out of control, she soon discovers that coming clean isn’t an option. Because if Janet washes away the lies, what long-buried truths will she finally have to face.
If I Let You Go by Charlotte Levin is a deeply moving and gripping portrayal of a woman coming to terms with loss.
“That’s what she does. Smile through it all. And it’s exhausting.”
Moving, heartrending and achingly real, If I Let You Go packs an emotional punch. It is one of those books where it is best to go in blind and just enjoy watching the story unfold. Charlotte Levin has written a compelling tale enmeshed in drama and heartache that has some great moments of dark humour to lighten the mood. I was transfixed and inhaled it in just a few hours.
Narrator Janet’s world is a bleak place filled with grief, guilt, despair and dysfunction. She lives in prison with bars made of blame and coercive control, her husband cruelly and methodically chipping away at her daily to make her a shadow of the person she once was. She dreams of freedom, but also believes she doesn’t deserve it because her daughter Claire’s death was her fault. She is very real and I liked how the author lets the reader into her innermost thoughts and feelings, allowing her to confide her darkest secrets so that we understand her rather than judge. I loved that she was morally complex, reminding us that even the nicest people with the best of intentions can make terrible choices.. The background characters are just as well written, with Colin making my skin crawl every time he was on the page. As an abuse survivor reading this story was like stepping back into the life I broke free from and I appreciate the authentic way in which it was written. It made me feel all the more invested in the story and I was rooting for Janet to finally find the strength to leave.
A deeply human story that manages to be both heartbreaking and hopeful, I highly recommend adding this one to your TBR.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Charlotte Levin has been shortlisted for the Andrea Badenoch Award, part of the New Writers North Awards, and for the Mslexia Short Story Competition. IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU is her debut novel, and IF I LET YOU GO is out in March 2023. Charlotte lives in Manchester with her cat Opal Moon and kittens Leonard and Walter.
BUY THE BOOK:
Waterstones | Amazon | Bookshop.org
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx
Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
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