Blog Tour Review, The Locked Away Life

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The Locked Away Life

Drew Davies


326 pages
published August 4, 2022Amazon | Goodreads

Book Description:

At the grand old age of eighty-two, Esther Saul has just one regret in life. Today, she’s going to change that.

For decades, Esther has barricaded herself in her vine-covered manor house. She spends her days tending to her rose-filled garden, glued to the pages of her favourite books, and listening to her beloved records. But, one spring morning, Esther wakes up and realises that time is running out.

Forty years ago, the love of her life betrayed her – the only man she allowed herself to trust. Where is Thackeray, the handsome Scot with a devilish smile and piercing blue eyes? Will she ever learn the truth? Will she ever understand why he lied to her? Esther has to find out. If she doesn’t act soon, her one regret will haunt her forever…

But she’ll need some assistance. That’s where Bruno comes in. After Esther places an advert in the local library, seeking internet lessons, the eighteen-year-old knocks on her door. Esther can see how out of place Bruno is in their sleepy village, and that the paid position could be his one-way ticket out of there.

An unexpected friendship forms between the two strangers, who have nothing in common except that they have spent most of their lives in hiding. It’s the beginning of a journey – featuring a secret motorcycle ride, an escape plan, and a garden party with whisky, apple pie, and dancing the jig. Along the way, can a locked-away life finally start living?

Just as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, this utterly gripping page-turner is for anyone who has ever felt left behind, came close to giving up, or needed a friend. Perfect for fans of Sally Page, Ruth Hogan and Mike Gayle.

My Review:

18 year-old Bruno and 82 year-old Ester become friends when he sees and advertisement to help her learn how to “online”.  They are both lonely and filled with secrets.  It is haunting how they both are a little lost.  Bruno is trying to find his place in a world he doesn’t thinks he fits in, and Esther is trying to maintain a place in the world as she ages.  And as their relationship grows, they learn so much from each other.

The characters are complex, flawed and yet still lovable.  The story is a deep one and will hit on some triggers for some, can I say conversion camp?  I loved the supporting cast almost as much as Bruno and Esther.  I hope to have her spunk when I reach her age.

I smiled and even shed a tear as I watched them grow and find their places in the world.


Author Bio:

Drew Davies was born in London and grew up in Whanganui, New Zealand. He attended the Unitec School of Performing Arts in Auckland and won a Playmarket New Zealand Young Playwright of the Year award in 2000. After a brief stint on a kiwi soap, he has worked in Search for the past 15 years. Drew’s other claim to fame is that Stephen Fry once called him droll. Either that, or he got his name wrong. He now lives in Wanstead, London.

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