‘If I Let You Go’ – Charlotte Levin

If I Let You Go is a story that quietly worms its way under your skin, gradually revealing the details of its protagonist’s life. 

Janet Brown is a woman used to not standing out. She cleans offices for a living, has few friends and lives with an emotionally abusive husband. We gradually learn some of the details of her life, and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for her.

When Janet wakes in hospital with a head injury, she is thought to have been involved in a serious train crash. She can remember little of the evening, but footage emerges of her helping to rescue the daughter of a local celebrity. Before you know it, Janet is being interviewed on national TV and hailed as a hero. She can’t be certain, but Janet is convinced the details aren’t quite right. And how do you tell anyone of your fears when you’re trapped in your situation?

Though she does a thing that I find awful to consider, Janet is painted in such a way that it’s hard not to hope things work out for her. As we learn the true story of that night, and see the damage caused by the death of Janet’s daughter years earlier, it became harder to see this story in black and white terms. Grief is destructive, and we see how damaging it can be for all concerned.

Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this before publication.