The Girl I Used To Be is the second book of Debbie Howells I’ve read this year. In July I read The Sunday Times bestseller for 2022 – The Life You Left Behind.
Anna and Will have been passing in and out of each other’s lives since they were just kids.
Now 20 years later, Anna is married – she has a lovely house, a step daughter in university and a husband with a good job.
What she doesn’t have is joy. When she runs into Will it sparks something in her, a longing for the Anna she used to be.
Together they embark on a journey to find what brings them joy, to discard what doesn’t and to become the people they always wanted to be.
But in finding themselves, can they also find each other?
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My Review The Girl I Used To Be
The book description drew me in because I love second-chance romances. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for how the book panned out.
A very true to life story that could happen to any of us. Anna and Will are young sweethearts, separated because Will wasn’t able to cope with a devastating loss that Anna knew nothing of. They keep bumping in to each other, but it’s never quite the right time for their love to turn into a comitted relationship.
This time around Anna is contemplating leaving her husband and he’s not the man she thought he was. Will is in the process of getting a divorce too. So they seem ready to take their relationship forward, until Will’s family needs him. While mourning the loss of what might have been, her meeting with Will, gives Anna the impetus to get a divorce from James and truly follow her heart.
This beautifully told story moves between different timelines, locations and points of view. Anna and Will are lovely people, whose only fault might be that they are not confident enough about themselves. When the strength of their characters and love is severely tested, one wonders if they will ever be able to get together finally.
Great supporting characters, who in Anna’s case, are there for her at every turn, show how friends can be family when family isn’t.
I thoroughly enjoyed this engrossing read.
Debbie Howells’s first novel, a psychological thriller, The Bones of You, was a Sunday Times bestseller for Macmillan. Four more bestsellers followed, including most recently The Vow, published by Avon. Fulfilling her dream of writing women’s fiction, she has found a home with Boldwood and her first title with them, The Life You Left Behind was published in February 2022.
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