Cover Image: Meredith, Alone

Meredith, Alone

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Member Reviews

I received an ARC of, Meredith, Alone, by Claire Alexander. I found this book to be a downer, very depressing. I just could not get in to it.

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I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a tragic book.

Jumping between present and past we follow Meredith, who cannot leave her house. We learn about Meredith and her family and how she is managing now. This book is sort of a slow burn that lets us peak into Meredith's relationships and life. It's a sad read of resilience and growth.

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This was a rich and rewarding character study of Meredith Maggs, a woman struggling with trauma-induced agoraphobia who hasn't left her little Glasgow home in nearly 4 years. She tells herself and anyone who asks that she's perfectly happy as she is -- she's created a really beautiful and soothing oasis for herself and her beloved cat Fred in the confines of her little house, she bakes and reads and does crossword puzzles, she can have anything she wants or needs delivered to her front door, she has a best friend who visits her regularly, she connects with other people on an internet site for those dealing with personal struggles. But she has no contact with her family, and even stepping out onto her own doorstep sends her into an anxiety spiral that can have her taking to her bed for a few days.

In flashbacks, we can see that Meredith used to have a much different life -- it's not clear until about halfway through the book exactly what the inciting incident was that led her to wall herself off from the outside world, but we learn that she and her older sister Fiona grew up in a chaotic household run by their abusive single mother, that Fiona married a man who gave Meredith the creeps, and that the emotional trauma of her childhood left Meredith feeling like she was unworthy of receiving love and incapable of giving it. As we learn all these things about Meredith, we also see her in the present day taking steps to improve her life and get back out into the world outside her front door. We see her rebuilding her relationship with her sister, developing new friendships with Tom from a local befriending organization and Celeste from her internet site, going to Zoom therapy, and doing a lot of hard work on repairing her relationship with herself as well.

Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read this beautiful, heartbreaking, heart-healing book!

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Meredith Maggs hasn't left her house in 1,214 days. She isn't lonely though. She has her ginger cat Fred, her best friend Sadie and her online support group. She bakes, works, completes jigsaws and reads. Her days are full, she just doesn't go outside. However, one day an unexpected knock on her door starts a catalyst of events that will change her life.

This book was the most pleasant surprise. I laughed, I cried and fell in love with our main character, Meredith Maggs. She has a heart of gold and I was desperate to see her overcome her struggles and dark memories that had trapped her in her house. At the start Meredith comes across as a perfectly content woman however, we start to peel back the layers and see how Meredith ended up stuck inside when Tom from Holding Hands charity knocks on her door. He stops by every Thursday and they slowly bond over difficult jigsaws and her baking. Around the same time we see her connecting on a deeper level with Celeste in her online chat group, StrengthInNumbers.

A warm hug of a book, I can't wait to recommend it to everybody. It allows you to root for a gentle soul of a woman as she overcomes deep rooted trauma, difficult family relations and a fear of going outside. The side characters of Sadie, Tom and Celeste are also absolute true gems.

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Meredith, age 39, is proud to have bought her own home in Glasgow, Scotland, but she never anticipated she wouldn't be able to leave it for more than three years. In this deeply affecting debut novel, we don't learn why until almost halfway through the book, which adds a measure of suspense. But this is really an in-depth study of the title character, whose life is far from empty, even though she is stuck at home. Meredith has a writing job she enjoys, a flair for baking, a precious cat, and a few individuals who become adept at understanding and supporting her--her sister, her longtime best friend, a young woman she meets in an online chat room, and a man from Holding Hands, an agency whose mission is to help "social recluses" move on with their lives.

I agonized along with her as she strives to deal with her depression, her fears, and her desire to rejoin the world, despite a mother who still denigrates her and is incapable of parental love. The relative richness of Meredith's life and the strides she slowly makes keep the story from being impossibly bleak, and I kept cheering for her through the entire book. An unusual and beautifully told portrait of a memorable woman.

My thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.

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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Grand Central Publishing and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

A wonderful story about struggling with phobia, mental health issues, life. Full of charm, wit, humor Meredith is quite relatable.

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This book is OUTSTANDING! I would be so sorry if I didn’t have a chance to meet with Meredith who is such a sensitive, unique woman! I’m delightful to explore her sad, moving, realistic journey!

“Meredith alone” may be one of most honest, poignant, genuine, engaging story of a brave, overwhelmed, exhausted woman in 40 who is suffering from depression, years long abuse, unsaid words, restrained resentment, hatred, sadness!

Meredith didn’t take a step out of her house for a long time. It was 1214 days when the book started! In the opening: We are introduced to Meredith, meeting with Tom, a part of befriending charity called Holding Hands: who is stopping by, eating her cookies, borrowing her favorite book, becoming another person to involve in her life just like her longtime friend Sadie.

Instead of Sadie and Tesco delivery man; she doesn’t have many visitors during her volunteered home quarantine.

We understand Meredith has only two family members: her eccentric mother and her sister Fee who is married and 18 months older than her and we realize they had a fallout.

As we move back and forth between past and present time, we understand how so many tragic events in the past shaped Meredith’s present condition and her character. She suffered from a lot traumatic experiences created by her inner circle. Things you’re gonna find out about her past are painful to digest. Some of the chapters affected me so deeply. I had to take some breaks to breath out, gathering my senses.

Mostly I loved complex, honest relationship of sisters and I found them brave for the painful torments they’ve been facing for years.

And I have to say: this book has fascinating supporting characters.

Sadie is my favorite character. When I read her lines, Juno Temple’s face appeared on my mind. If this book will be adapted into the movie, she will be absolutely great Sadie for big screen!

And Tom is such an amazing supportive character! He was caring, patient, giving everything he could even though his plate was also full with lots of dramatic incidents.

And little Jacob who is kindest boy to burn her mother sweetest gifts was also adorable.

Overall: I highly definitely extremely recommend you to read it!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

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Meredith hasn’t left her house in over three years. This is the story of why, and how she gets her life back.

I knew something had happened to Meredith, but I didn’t expect what did. I thought maybe it was one thing, but it was a whole pile of things. Luckily, she has an amazing support system online and off. She makes two incredible friends Celeste and Tom, and has her best friend Sadie to support her.

I loved how this book unfolded between past and present. Super effective storytelling. I hated Meredith’s mother. She was horrible. I loved patient, sweet Tom. I was happy when Meredith had wins. I even enjoyed the open-ended ending.

This book handles heavy topics like rape, child abuse, self harm, and domestic violence. But it’s a truly hopeful story in the end.

Thank you NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander had me gripped from the beginning.
Claire's storytelling has oodles of charm, heart and wit.
Meredith's character was very interesting and honestly kept me intrigued.
An entertaining and heartwarming story.
This is a gloriously engaging, hopeful and entrancing read that I think many readers will enjoy. 

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Grand Central Publishing,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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This book is a winner! I really enjoyed it and was routing for Meredith the entire time. I found her character to be very realistic. The author explored some heavy topics in this book which I appreciated. It’s an extremely well written book that I would absolutely recommend to others. Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for the ARC. I will most likely purchase this book to add to my shelf☺️

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Well, this made me very sad. But it is also a story full of hope.

Meredith has not left her house in almost four years and we don’t know why. She is about to turn 40. She is estranged from her mother and sister. Her devoted best friend, Sadie, visits often and checks in on her. The story modes back and forth from present day to Meredith’s childhood, early adulthood, and before her seclusion.

I thought Meredith was a lovely person with hobbies that include solving jigsaws, baking delicious desserts, and being an amazing friend. I was really curious to see how her story would play out. At times, this reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Overall, it is an emotional read that deals with trauma, abuse, and resilience. Read it if you don’t mind these heavier topics. 3.5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC via NetGalley.

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