Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Imprint: HarperCollins - GB
Publication date: 20th January 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Format read: Uncorrected paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Better Reading
Missy Carmichael is an elderly widow feeling the desolate loneliness of a large empty house now that her husband is no longer with her and her two children have moved on with their lives. Son Alistair is living in Australia and keeps in touch via email but Missy is finding it hard to have anything interesting to email about. Whilst her daughter, Melanie, lives closer their relationship is strained after an argument and they very rarely have contact.
There are flashbacks of a young Missy and the high profile life she had with her college professor husband. There are also hints of a terrible secret that Missy has been burdened with throughout her life.
I immediately felt sympathetic towards Missy’s situation but as you get to know her you can see she is quite a negative person with words like impostor, fraud, fuddy-duddy often peppering her thoughts. She had a habit of judging people by their appearance and I think she thought other people were judging her as she was frequently humiliated, embarrassed or mortified in public.
When Missy meets the exuberant Angela and her young son Otis I was sure Angela was only looking for a babysitter. She then introduces Missy to designer and fellow dog-walker Sylvie who soon makes her way into Missy’s home and life. It was easy at the start to think the worst of these two bossy and extrovert characters but meeting them proved to be the best thing that happened to Missy.
Maggie and Sylvie take Missy in hand and show her that life is to be lived.
Saving Missy is a beautifully written, heart-felt story about friendship, opening yourself up to new experiences and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
I really enjoyed the way Missy slowly opened up and changed, proving you are never too old to change, grow and make new friends.
My rating 5/5
Beth Morrey was inspired to write her debut novel, Saving Missy, while pushing a pram around her local park during maternity leave. Getting to know the community of dog owners, joggers, neighbours and families, she began to sow the seeds of a novel about a woman saved by the people around her, strangers who became friends.Previously Creative Director at RDF Television, Beth now writes full time. She was previously shortlisted for the Grazia-Orange First Chapter award, and had her work published in the Cambridge and Oxford May Anthologies while at university.Beth lives in London with her husband, two sons and a dog named Polly.