Book Reviews“The Girl In The Maze” by Cathy Hayward –...

“The Girl In The Maze” by Cathy Hayward – Book Review #TheGirlInTheMaze @AgoraBooksLDN #NetGalley @CathyHayward7


“We are shaped by our mothers, and if we lack we are shaped by this loss.”
“I once read that motherhood is your heart forever revolving outside of you.”

Emma 2019 – Our heroine travels from her family home in Sussex, to Morkemb, Lancashire, to vacate her mother’s apartment after her recent death. She is shocked and hurt that her mother, Margaret, left her painting “The Girl in the Maze” to someone her mother had never met. Her mother had been estranged from her mother for several years and wondered why her mother had always seemed so cold to her.

Betty – Grandmother and mother of her mother to Margaret. We meet Betty in 1937 when she was only sixteen and pregnant. She was about to be a single mother, when ‘dignity’ was of paramount importance. The shame and public humiliation of being a ‘fallen woman’ can shape life, and a stain of illegitimacy can follow a child into adulthood and beyond.

Margaret – Her mother’s mother was a woman in trauma and in conflict. Like her mother Betty before her, she was a single mother in adolescence in 1953. Her pregnancy, and the circumstances surrounding it, became known to her mother only when she cleaned her mother’s belongings after her death.

Then her mother realizes that she has a sister who will be twenty-two years older than her. A nurse who always wished her …

What a sweeping and accomplished debut novel! A layered family history that highlights how much a mother can be influential, whether she is present or absent …

The first chapters were cruel and heartbreaking to read, but provided a necessary basis for the continuation of the novel.

This novel deftly explores the issue of motherhood in all its nuances and permutations. It also explores the intense complexity of parenting and family relationships, and how we are all shaped by our childhood experiences.

The book gives a fictional tendency to how society has changed over the years when it comes to children born out of wedlock. It tells of relationships that have been forged – and relationships that have been destroyed. It describes the rift between how our parents’ relationships really were and how we see them as children. How do we take our parents for granted until we are no longer able to do so …

“The Girl in the Maze” was a successful debut novel that I can highly recommend. I look forward to the author’s next novel.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was not affected in any way by the fact that I received a free digital copy of this novel from Penny books Via NetGalley.

Cathy Hayward She began her working life as a journalist writing for commercial magazines and writing about everything from the supply chains behind Valentine’s Day to the most efficient way to move goods around a port.

After giving birth to her third child in 2009 and still living in London, she decided she needed to make a change. Within a few months she quit her job, sold and moved to Brighton on the beach.

In 2016, shortly after her father’s death, she began her two-year part-time creative writing program with New Writing South in Brighton. It was the best decision she ever made. She completed the course in the summer of 2018 and went on to write what became The girl in the maze seriously. It was the lock of 2020 that proved its great opportunity to finish it.

She wrote a second book called The promise of the fortune teller She completed it in March 2021, and is currently working on a third story. She can not imagine a time when she will not write.

She lives by the sea in Brighton with her three children, her husband, their weasel puppy and two cats.

Follow after Cathy Hayward On Twitter @ CathyHayward7

About a fictional

Literary critic; Librarian Goodreads. Retired library catalog – more time to read! Loves books, gardening and red wine. I have been a visiting member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.



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