VOICE: This is voice-driven book club fiction for readers who loved Eleanor Oliphant. Gigi is a marvelous creation, bighearted and profane, self-deprecating with a tough-girl exterior that belies a tender and intense love.
SUBJECT: Gigi is suffering from acute postpartum depression and Ilona Bannister brilliantly shows how even the strongest women can be felled by the potent brew of work pressure, parenthood, inadequate mental-health resources, and stigma. It’s an ultimately uplifting portrait of a woman falling apart and pulling it back together.
AUTHOR:Ilona Bannister grew up in New York and has family here, but lives in London and is that rare writer who will be an asset on both sides of the pond. She’s a passionate advocate for women and mental health and speaks eloquently on her inspiration for the novel.
“A thematic companion to Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Bannister’s novel is a searing insight into the complexities of motherhood and the interminable frustration of the tiny needs, musts, and wants that keep a family moving. A gripping, introspective read.”
A powerful and compassionately told story of loss, grief, love and motherhood.”
—Daily Mail (UK)
“Bannister’s emotionally raw debut offers an unflinching glimpse of new motherhood…Bannister effectively captures Gigi’s awareness of cultural and class divides. This poignant story feels genuine.”
”A beautiful and unflinching story of loss, motherhood and love in all its forms. Both heartbreaking and funny, Bannister perfectly captures the brilliant darkness of existing. I adored this brave debut.“
—Ella Berman, bestselling author of The Comeback
“Ilona Bannister is the best friend every new mother wants—the one who tells you it’s OK to fall apart and the one who makes you laugh until you get back up again. This first novel is a wise, big-hearted, triumphant story of marriage and motherhood.”
—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lies that Bind
”A furious and tender exploration of family and motherhood. A novel about survival - in the immediate sense, but also how you keep hold of yourself in those small every day moments of erasure.“
—Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We Are Doing It Right?
”When I Ran Away is a profoundly moving story showing the redemptive power of love and acceptance—of friends, family and also of ourselves. Richly textured, populated by wonderfully observed, deftly drawn characters, from the hilarious chorus of Staten Island girlfriends to the blinkered office colleagues and the desperate-to-seem-in-control women of the mums and babies group. A smart, brave and often very funny book that’s full of hope for the future. I was captivated."
—Sarah Haywood, bestselling author of The Cactus
“How much can one woman take? That is the question this novel asks, furiously [and] impatiently…Gigi is sharp and funny and endearing…A searing account of the pain and rage motherhood can sometimes produce.”
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