Cover Image: The Girl in the Maze

The Girl in the Maze

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Member Reviews

Perhaps the writing style was not for me, but I didn't finish it because I couldn't get into it. It was compelling at first. I loved the descriptions used by the author. They are so vivid, and there isn't such a thing as going over details with sweet nothings; they can be as real as it can get. The blood, the pain from harming oneself, the poor conditions that one can live in. But the story seemed to drag. It was going between two time periods: Emma, and her grandmother Betty when she was young. Emma may be going through all the things in her mother's flat, but... the things she discovers are few and nothing much has been done to it even by the time I DNF this at 37%. And Betty's story I couldn't get into, because Jack, her husband, is wanting so much to have a child that it annoyed me to no end. It's like he's allowing this obsession to cloud his love for his wife.
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I was so incredibly lucky to have started a bookstagram and receive this book early thanks to NetGalley!

This was the first book by this author and it was outstanding. It was most definitely an easy read, but coming from a family where adoption has been a huge thing, reading and relating to the main character in this book was invigorating. In the book it states, “some secrets were probably better left untold.” This book has a great use of mystery and history and brings you a story about a family and the hardships they face when it comes to learning new things after recent tragic events.

Can’t wait to see what is next for this author!
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This was kind of a sad and depressing story. It’s a tangled tale that affected everyone. Mother and daughter relationships can be hard but throw in other circumstances and it’s doubly hard. The painting in the book seems almost to have a mysterious meaning. I found that more interesting than anything else. I enjoyed the book 
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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Emma and her mother’s relationship had always been distant and strained. Upon clearing out her mother’s home after her death, Emma stumbles on a family secret which leads her to search for answers surrounding events in her mother’s life as well as her childhood. What she finds unravels a mystery and family tragedy she never knew existed that helps Emma understand why her mother was so difficult.  

First off, some trigger warnings to get out of the way; gore, abortion, infertility, and rape. The opening scene of this book is particularly gruesome. 

This book is a dark, heartbreaking, and tragic story about motherhood and family secrets. The writing is good and it is an enjoyable read despite some extremely triggering elements. About halfway through the book is did become pretty easy to guess where the story was heading so if you like books with lots of twists that keep you on your toes this is not one of those. 

The book switched back and forth between periods and through different character’s points of view which I liked and found it easy to keep track of since there was a date given before each character’s section. The pace of the book overall was nice, however, there were some places where it slowed a bit, and I found that the author sometimes over-described some scenes which led me to skim a little bit through those paragraphs.

Overall, an interesting book and unlike anything I have read in the past. If you are looking for an emotional, layered, and moving story then this one is for you.
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I enjoyed this book and reading about 3 generations of complicated mother daughter relationships. The characters and their struggles were complicated and realistic. While somewhat predictable, I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I read it.
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The Girl in the Maze is a really enjoyable and relatable read. Some parts are really enjoyable but also emotional and at times disturbing.
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Caught up in this book from the very beginning. A multi-generational mystery and family saga worth savoring! Excited to continue and see where the maze leads-- and what about the mysterious painting of the girl in the maze? Intriguing!
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An emotionally challenging book but one which is very rewarding. Although I have not experienced the situations dealt with in the book,  I felt great empathy with the three generations of women,  their relationships,  their pain and the misunderstanding between them. 
The book deals with the difficult and painful emotions raised by abortion,  adoption (from both the point of view of the mother and the adopted child later in life) and child abuse. 
Well worth reading though perhaps may cause painful emotions for anyone who has experienced these issues. This book certainly makes me feel grateful that society today has changed in its attitudes.
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A story about families especially the relationship between mother and daughter. 
Emma is clearing out her mother's flat after her death. They have been estranged for many years. Her mother wasn't a very loving person who disliked Emma's daughter for no obvious reason. 
Like peeling an onion Emma uncovers hidden secrets about her mother's life finding things that have been hidden away.
I really enjoyed this book especially the way that we heard from different people in alternating chapters. 
My only criticism is that the ending seemed a little abrupt and sudden.
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A moving story, The Girl In The Maze explores mother and daughter relationships, family secrets and shame.  Parts were very hard to read and I admit to tears while reading this.

There definitely should be a trigger warning about content.  That being said, I feel it's a very important book for people to read.
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This is a great read and i would recommend you read this! This was a really fun read which I read so so quickly. I was kindly gifted an e-book in return a honest review.
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Emma is clearing out the effects of her Mother’s estate following her death. Their difficult relationship is part of the story, but there are so many other facets to this story. The subject matter is difficult at times and it is shocking to realise just how recently things have begun to change for women. This book was a very readable exploration of the relationships between women and their daughters, it is well written and the characters are extremely believable. Great book.
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Betty was an unwed mother in the 30's trying to raise her daughter Margaret.  Emma is Margaret's daughter, cleaning out her estranged mother's things after Margaret's death in 2019.  She discovers that Margaret had another daughter when she was a teenager and sets out to find her sister.  The story goes back and forth between Betty/Margaret in the past and Emma in the present.  It started out rough, with Betty in 1937 in a bathtub attempting to perform an abortion on herself with a knitting needle.  That was an extremely visceral thing to read.  A decent book, not great, not terrible.  3 stars.
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Oh my goodness. Where to begin. From the very difficult opening to a dramatic ending this is one powerful and moving read. The subject matters are handled so delicately, which makes it even more believable, accurate and emotional. The Girl in the Maze very early on is explained as a painting. However, it really does become a symbol across the entire novel. Different characters cant really work out the image just as much as they cant figure out the history of this family. Touching, fragile. Does contain some triggers. A story that absolutely needs to be told and heard.
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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A big thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books!

Before reading this book, it is important for readers to be aware of multiple content warnings including blood, abortion, infertilty, and rape. Some scenes are quite graphic. 

I found this book to be unlike any story I have read in the past. Its main concept surrounds the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. The story switches back and forth between perspectives and periods of time. I, at times, found these perspective changes to be slightly confusing and hard to keep track of, especially since many of the unfortunate situations seemed to repeat, in a sense, between the generations of women. The pacing was also a bit slow at times.

It's hard to rate a story that is filled with such dark and heartbreaking concepts, but it really did keep me engaged the entire time. I found it touching how Emma was able to find closure with her mother's death after discovering her story and how she used her experience to vow to improve her relationship with her own daugher. While I completely disagreed with Emma's choice at the end of the book surrounding her sister, Elizabeth, I understand why she decided to make this decision. Again, I find it hard to rate a story like this one, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to others.

Thanks again to NetGalley and Agora Books!
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I would have read this in one sitting but started at 10pm and by 2am had to stop! 

This story was close to my heart. I grew up witnessing first hand the consequences of shame felt by an unmarried woman who fell pregnant in the 1950s and how her shame impacted her future marriage and children's lives. Having already been thought so badly of I understand the compulsion to remain in a marriage despite it's destructive power and the toxic influence of an abusive husband/father. 

I must be honest: I didn't much like any of the characters especially Emma. I thought her reasons for keeping a life-changing secret towards the end of the story just reminded me horribly of all the secrets I've grown up with. I couldn't find a good enough defence for her decision. Has she broken the cycle of shame in her family? By keeping the secret that she kept I don't believe she did.  Having said that, the story unfolded brilliantly. I finished it with sympathy for Margaret's behaviour towards Emma and her children but as I said there's very little likeability in any of the characters. 

Still a cracking read though - I guess you don't have to love the characters to love the book!
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This book talks about motherhood, the difficulties of being a young mother and the connections between mothers and daughters. Also there is a twist in the family dynamics that causes a rift and disconnect . My heart breaks for this book. Not only did it touch "taboo" subjects but it also showed how families have flaws and alot of times the secrets don't reveal themselves until someone passes away. I will talk about this book to everyone I know because it touched my heart that much. I thoroughly enjoyed the two POV from 1930s to 2019s.
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My thanks to Cathy Hayward, Agora Books and Net Galley for the ARC of THE GIRL IN THE MAZE. 
The relationship between mothers and daughters can often be complicated and certainly, in Cathy Hayward's novel, the three main characters have difficult relationships with their children. When Emma Bowen's mother, Margaret dies she is left to sort out her belongings in her seaside flat. Emma can't understand why Margaret has left her flat to Emma's daughter, Libby, as Margaret seemingly didn't like her and didn't have a relationship with her. She discovers that a painting Emma always loved as a child, The Girl in the Maze, has been left to a 'friend' of Margaret's, Clare. Emma always loved the painting and feels there is more to its existence than just a random painting, and as she continues to delve into her mother's past, she gets to know her mother and about her past more than she did before. There are many difficult subjects in this novel, but they are not gratuitous and are well-written.
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I simply found it difficult to tear myself away from this book. The story line is very appealing to me. Two generations of estranged mother-daughter relationships is a theme I’m constantly drawn to, although I’m very close with my mom. I figured out a major part of the plot early on and certain actions by a character made more sense. The full gamut emotions is experienced: despair, anger, heartache, and understanding. I didn’t agree with a major decision that was made for one of the characters toward the end, but that’s ok. I enjoyed this read.
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This was a surprisingly thought provoking read about motherhood and the relationships that we have with our mothers. Covering a multi generational family Emma discovers a pile of letters written by her mother to her grandmother which then takes us on a journey of strained family relationships and dynamics. 
A compelling read!
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