This is the most recently released novel by Cathy Glass (released 10 September 2015). It’s the story of Joss who went to Cathy as a frightened 13 year old. The story, as usual, is well-told by Cathy, and Joss, her mum Linda and little brother, Kevin, have endured what no family should have to: the loss of their father and Linda’s first husband through his suicide. Joss appears to resent the fact that her mum has remarried a man called Eric, but she has good reason to. When Joss arrives at Cathy’s, she’s broken and distraught and has nightmares and gets in with a bad crowd. She’s hostile towards Cathy and her family and the social services get involved. As Joss reveals her worries over what happened, a caring thoughtful side to her emerges and she gets on much better with Cathy and her family. She stops seeing the bad crowd and she does much better at school.
There’s conflict between Joss and her mum at times although Joss loves her, and she really misses her brother Kevin who lives with Linda and Eric while Joss is in care and living at Cathy’s. They all want to be together as a family. In this book, we see the meaning of family, and the lengths some families have to go to to rebuild their lives. As always with Cathy’s books, the story is very touching but also has details of abuse, and I’d advise keeping tissues nearby. The language is very emotive too. The detail involved is spot- on as always with Cathy Glass’s books and we get an insight into hopw the social services work with Joss and her family, as they do with the other families in Cathy’s books. I was pleased with the ending and the book left me satisfied. Denica Fairman’s narration really compliments the story well. The difference with this story and the ones I’ve listened to so far that I own, is that Cathy shows the involvement of Joss’s grandparents (Linda’s parents) aside from her parents, Kevin and her so-called “friends” (who are the ones who ultimately form the “bad crowd,”) and it’s apparent how close the whole family is to the grandparents. This is a nice touch.
After I’d read the update for this book on Cathy Glass’s website I was very pleased to see that Cathy has a new novel out in February 2016 called A Dark and Lonely Place. That will be on my To Read list for sure! I’m so glad I read Girl Alone, and pre-ordering it by a week was so worth it to definitely have the audiobook on my iPad the day of its release. There are still audiobooks of Cathy’s I haven’t listened to which I’ll use my Audible membership to download while I wait for next year’s new release!
Verdict: 5 Stars.