Ava Wilder’s home in small-town Iowa is her sanctuary. A talented sketch artist with severe agoraphobia, Ava spends her days drawing a far more adventurous life than her invisible disability allows. Until she receives a package from London, explaining that she has inherited her Aunt Beverly’s entire estate—on condition that she lives in Bev’s West End flat for a year.
Once overseas, Ava wonders if she’s simply swapped one prison for another. The streets and shops are intimidating, and Bev’s home appears to be a drop-in center for local eccentrics. Worst of all, Bev left a list of impossible provisos to be overseen by her quirky, attractive solicitor. Ava is expected to go out—to experience clubs, pubs, and culture; to visit Big Ben, Hyde Park, and the London Eye. After years of viewing the world through a pane of glass, she’s at the messy, complicated center of it. As exhilarated as she is terrified, will she be able to step up, step out, and claim the life she was meant for?
In an insightful, poignant novel, Mary Carter delves deep into self-discovery and the meaning of courage, exploring the fears that serve to protect us—until life calls us to connect at last.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m not sure how I feel about this book, even after completing it. I absolutely loved the main character, Ava. Watching her experience life in a bit different way than the rest of us do was enchanting. She is a smart, thoughtful and likable character that the author clearly put a lot of effort into creating.
The story itself I wasn’t so sure about. Whilst I enjoyed Ava’s personality and her reactions to things, some of the story I had a hard time suspending belief enough to get around.
This was the sort of book that I kept wavering on a star rating for. I eventually decided on 3 stars, because I had a hard time believing the character would act the way she did at some points, and yet the writing was beautiful and Ava was so charming.
Overall this is a book that I would still recommend. It was different and intriguing and obviously the author cared about it enough to put herself into it fully.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.