If I Let You Go by Charlotte Levin is a deeply moving and gripping portrayal of a woman coming to terms with loss.
Every morning Janet Brown goes to work cleaning offices. It calms her, cleanliness, neatness. All the things she’s unable to do with her soul can be achieved with a damp cloth and a splash of bleach. However, the guilt she still carries about a devastating loss that happened eleven years ago, cannot be erased.
Then, Janet finds herself involved in a train crash and, recognising the chance to do what she couldn’t all those years ago, she makes a decision. As news spreads of Janet’s actions, her story inspires everyone around her, and for the first time her life has purpose and the future is filled with hope.
But Janet’s story isn’t quite what it seems, and as events spiral out of control, she soon discovers that coming clean isn’t an option. Because if Janet washes away the lies, what long-buried truths will she finally have to face.
Book Info: 362 pages. Publisher: Mantle. Publication Date: 2 March 2023
Charlotte Levin has been shortlisted for the Andrea Badenoch Award, part of the New Writers North Awards, and for the Mslexia Short Story Competition. IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU is her debut novel, and IF I LET YOU GO is out in March 2023. Charlotte lives in Manchester with her cat Opal Moon and kittens Leonard and Walter
I absolutely adored Charlotte’s debut novel If I Can’t Have You (see my full review here) so I was really excited to read her second standalone book If I Let You Go which is out now. Despite the very similar covers and titles, both books are standalone stories and have nothing to do with each other, so you can read them in any order.
There is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte could be the next “Mistress of Misery” or “Dame of Dysfunction” because she creates the most incredible characters and puts them in situations that make my sphincter clench!! With each of her books, I read with an overwhelming feeling of dread and discomfort and this is exactly how I like to feel when reading psychological thrillers.
The book description above has told you a little about the book premise. Janet Brown works as a cleaner. She lives with her husband who won’t be winning any “husband of the year” awards and she’s still grieving an unimaginable loss eleven years ago.
After a night out drinking with her friends she wakes up the next day in hospital having survived a horrific train crash and saved the life of a little girl but with no memory of the event. Thrust into the public eye and seen as a heroine, Janet slowly starts to regain memories of that night and it’s not quite what everyone is led to believe.
Another thoroughly thrilling, twisted tale which kept me glued to the pages.