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I Looked Away

Narrated by: Rachel Bavidge
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of I Looked Away, by Jane Corry, read by Rachel Bavidge.

Every Monday Ellie looks after her four-year-old grandson Josh. The love she feels for him is different to anything she's experienced before. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband's affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she's got.   

Then one day, while she's looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And in a moment of pure rage, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson.   

The accident that happens will change Ellie's life forever.   

Not least when the police discover that her younger brother died in suspicious circumstances 35 years ago.

©2018 Jane Corry (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well written, but heavy

To start this on a totally honest note, this isn't a book I will read again. However, I finished it in one day, as I had to know what'd happened. It certainly wasn't what I expected when I started reading it. I reviewed a book only today which I enjoyed because there was hardly any background before it started. This one has a lot of background which at some points I thought was too much, but I suppose when you understand the whole thing, the large amount almost makes sense. It tackles some intense issues, which not so long ago society would've avoided, which I think is a good thing they're out there now, and people know more about them. As a story, I'll warn you now. It's not the kind of book you can read while relaxing, so to speak. It's the type where you need to concentrate, or you can easily get lost. I did, anyway. It can be tricky to keep track of otherwise. But fair play to Jane for telling us about her own experience, in her own voice, at the end of the book, and reasons why she wrote it, research, etc. So while it was one I won't read again myself, it's well written, and researched and I respect Jane for her empathy in researching and writing it as she did. It's certainly one which for me at least, made me go "wo," that was intense. It makes you think, that's for sure. Some heavy subject matter, but as Jane implies, sadly for some people, it's life. So my summary would be on this one, read it if you want a powerful, impacting Psychological Thriller, but it's heavy. For what it's worth, I had every sympathy for Ellie throughout, especially at the trial. On a totally unrelated note, I live in Bristol, and a lot of the places she mentions here, I know of, what they're like etc. Put it this way. Don't read it if you're looking for a work of pure fiction to relax with in my opinion. But well done Jane for getting it out there, issues which need to be heard, and our society to know more about.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Long and delaying

A very dreary and down trodden tale. The ending appeared to never end. The story was unexciting and at time’s unclear where it was going. Never again.

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Different...

I listened to this book whilst preparing meals at home during Covid 19. It was excellently written and ‘came off the page’ well for listeners, being pleasingly paced and delivered with effective modulation, although I could not identify wholly with some of the voices given by the narrator to characters. Whilst the novel did nothing to lift the depression engendered by ‘lockdown’, it certainly made one count one’s blessings in having a comfortable home and food in the fridge. The terrible nature of homelessness and emotional abuse were vividly created. Ellie, around whom the book centres, was closely and sympathetically drawn. It was a highly detailed, absorbing tale – if, at times, a little confusing. If I were to read it again, I would want the warmth and freedom of a sunny day on holiday – not lockdown! Nevertheless, I was thoroughly engaged by the story and appreciated the author’s personal contribution at the end. I shall now read or listen to other Jane Corry novels.

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Like peeling an onion

Layer upon layer of life experience, trauma, happiness and trepidation, this book was appealing on some many levels. Thought provoking, unpredictable and. Enthralling. I read the book in two days. I resonate with some layers of the book, despite this I felt privileged to have my life and a renewed appreciation for the plight of homeless people and fellow sufferers of mental health issues. I have awarded 5 stars as that’s the max. Highly recommend also narrator was perfect. Thank you

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I persevered

I continued with this book based on reviews. I think it may have been better to have read it rather than listening. I don’t understand the amazing reviews but we all have different taste.

It was an okay story, sometimes confusing but the narration was dire and grating, sorry to say. The narrative of “Jo” and “Ellie “ was fine but the other characters were comical.

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probably one of my all time favourite novels!

I so thoroughly enjoyed this book, I strongly recommend it and ask anyone debating selecting it to go ahead and be moved by the tale xxx

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Brilliant

Thoroughly enjoyed this listen. Finished in one sitting. 100% would reccomend - a must read/listen.

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Need to Concentrate a little

This is about the life of Ellie Halls, (who has mental issues), starting from her childhood, right up to aged 49 and a grandmother, finding herself on trial for murder .

Alongside that story, we hear about Jo, about the same age, a homeless Big Issue seller on the streets of Bristol. We somehow suspect these stories are related but don't find out exactly how until near the end.

The listener needs to concentrate because the story is delivered in a disjointed way, like lots of little jigsaw pieces that we have to put together for ourselves. In some cases the author deceives us into initially putting pieces in the wrong places.

The disjointed delivery is probably intended to add mystery, intrigue and suspense, but in the case I think the author over-did it a little.

We get a piece from the author at the end of the book explaining what lead her to write a story about mental health and homelessness.

Good performance from Rachel Bavidge.

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I loved it

This book tells a story that is full of love despair hope and longing. It is so well written and the story is so well read that I felt all of the emotions described. It tells a story of how abuse can last a life time and effect every part of your life forever. A book I would recommend to anybody

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Good read

My niece recommended this book, saying she couldn't put it down. I must agree it had the same effect on me

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  • Kathleen Kolodge
  • 22-06-19

OMG!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!

Did not see THAT coming at all. Took me a bit to unscramble my brain. So many issues covered. It was sad at times and my heart hurt for Ellie in all parts of her life. Awesome read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-07-19

Great story

I loved the story and the characters. My only issue was the narrator. She often whispered so low that I couldn’t hear it. I missed a few parts of the book because of this.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MzCarrie
  • 20-08-19

Wow!

I have to say, this was not a book I would have normally bought but a friend bought it and thought I should give it a chance! Wow, was she right. I have to admit, I was lost for much of the book as the story line jumps between Ellie and Jo so often but, it all wraps up in the end and things become clear. The story is not hindered by my confusion though because no matter who the author is talking about at any given time, it's interesting. The story really puts homelessness, traumatic events, and childhood responsibilities into greater perspective. I'm so happy I listened to this book. Give it a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised. The narrator makes the story come to life and was a perfect choice for this kind of book. Happy listening!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Dunne
  • 25-06-19

Another amazing story!

Jane has quickly become one of my favorite story tellers. Her characters are complex and her writing keeps me wondering what will happen next. She Looked Away is a sad account of how early childhood experiences can truly shape your adult life. I was captivated by this tale and kept listening to see how it would end.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • 02-01-20

Well Done!

This is first time I’ve “read” this author, and despite the challenges experienced by main character (don’t want to give anything away so wording carefully), I feel author presented Ellie’s life with well-researched delicacy and sensitivity. We have had similar challenges in our own family and can identify with story. Narrator is superb, expertly changing inflections with various characters. Highly recommend this compelling book🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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  • Ryan and Jessy
  • 18-10-19

WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

This novel Is phenomenal. This author is extremely talented and I will forever buy anything she writes from now on. Both of her books are worth the credit and more. Whenever you see multiple reviews with 'Wow' in them you should know this is a good one!! This is honestly a life changing book!! Soooooo goood. Well done Jane Corry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • Robin McGrath
  • 04-10-19

Predictable outcome<br /><br />

The plot and outcome were predictable but issues of story brought social issues out