Meredith, Alone is a touching story about love and loss, friendship and family, about attempting to find the courage to overcome crippling challenges and discovering peace in places you never expected to. It’s a story that gives a disturbingly real up-close look at depression and anxiety and will make you feel sad in so many ways, but ultimately also leave you smiling with a sense of hope and many lessons learned along the way.
Meredith Maggs leads a quiet life, in fact she hasn’t left her house in 1214 days. Despite her mostly solitary existence she insists she’s not alone – her cat Fred plays an important role in her life, as does her longtime friend Sadie who visits her, and she also interacts with her online support group.
She is very routine driven, so when she lets Tom McDermott from the Holding Hands charity organization into her life things start to get turned a little upside down. Meredith also steps out of her comfort zone when she invites her online friend Celeste into her home.
As the story moves between the past and present we learn more about Meredith’s unhappy childhood, the estrangement from her sister, and the traumatic events which led her to self-isolate.
Despite the seriousness of the topics discussed, including mental health and sexual assault, there is also a heartfelt desire shown by her support system to patiently support and encourage her to overcome the fears in her time and ultimately seek to achieve happiness. All of this for me makes Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander a compelling book about healing and hope which I found left an imprint on my heart and which I will no doubt find myself returning to read again.
Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.