Compelling. Poignant. Haunting. Heart wrenching. An eye-opener of a story that will stay with you long after you've read the last page. Hard to believe this is a debut as the writing is assured and beautiful, the characters vividly brought to life on the page. I lived every minute of this harrowing story that will resonate with everyone. Just beautiful. Everyone needs to read this wonderful book.
The Girl behind the Gates absorbed me from the start and had me invested in Nora's story throughout. In this haunting debut novel, Brenda Davies takes us on a journey that is often uncomfortable, at times painful, but always told in beautiful prose and with great compassion and insight. Although horrified by the deplorable ways in which psychiatric patients were treated in the last century, I was also inspired and uplifted by the triumphant power of the human spirit and people's capacity to love and nurture others. A heart-wrenching but ultimately heart-warming novel that acts as a great advocate for the humane treatment of mental illness.
The Girl Behind the Gates is a powerful, emotional novel - harrowing in parts but always authentic and full of insights and compassion. It's an important reminder of the abuse suffered by unmarried mothers - and many young women generally - only a matter of decades ago - and a sobering account of the best and worst of human nature. I was moved to tears by the ending and will certainly not hesitate to recommend it.