When I Ran Away (Hardback)
  • When I Ran Away (Hardback)
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When I Ran Away (Hardback)

(author)
£14.99
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 04/03/2021
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Waterstones Says

With the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers serving as its emotional backdrop, Bannister’s affecting debut is a sensitively handled tale of finding love and your true identity in the long shadow of intense tragedy.

'A furious and tender exploration of motherhood. It's 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

'Smart, brave and often very funny
. . . profoundly moving' SARAH HAYWOOD, author of The Cactus


T
his morning Gigi left her husband and children.

Now she's watching Real Housewives and drinking wine in a crummy hotel room, trying to work out how she got here.

When the Twin Towers collapsed, Gigi Stanislawski fled her office building and escaped lower Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry. Among the crying, ash-covered and shoeless passengers, Gigi, unbelievably, found someone she recognised - the guy with pink socks and a British accent - from the coffee shop across from her office. Together she and Harry Harrison make their way to her parents' house where they watch the television replay the planes crashing for hours, and she waits for the phone call from her younger brother that never comes. And after Harry has shared the worst day of her life, it's time for him to leave.

Ten years later, Gigi, now a single mother consumed with bills and unfulfilled ambitions, bumps into Harry again and this time they fall deeply in love. When they move to London it feels like a chance for the happy ending she never dared to imagine. But it also highlights the differences in their class and cultures, which was something they laughed about until it wasn't funny anymore; until the traumatic birth of their baby leaves Gigi raw and desperately missing her best friends and her old life in New York.

As Gigi grieves for her brother and rages at the unspoken pain of motherhood, she realises she must somehow find a way back - not to the woman she was but to the woman she wants to be.


An unforgettable novel about love - for our partners, our children, our mothers, and ourselves - pushed to its outer limits.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781529352658
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 218 x 142 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A powerful and compassionately told story of loss, grief, love and motherhood * Daily Mail *
An incredibly raw and unflinching debut that will stop you in your tracks * Heat, 4* review *
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 * Booklist *
A profoundly moving story showing the redemptive power of love and acceptance - of friends, family and also of ourselves. Smart, brave and often very funny . . . I was captivated -- Sarah Haywood, author of The Cactus
Illona 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 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
This book ripped me open and stared right inside of me. I have never read words that described so perfectly so many of the feelings I've had (and still have) -- Mia Vaughan @cigarettesandcalpol
The most perceptive and engaging story about motherhood that I've read -- Tillylovesbooks via Twitter
Gigi is sharp and funny and endearing * Kirkus Reviews *
A big-hearted novel, beautifully written and riven with a rich seam of humour * Yorkshire Living *
Bannister's emotionally raw debut offers an unflinching glimpse of new motherhood * Publisher's Weekly *

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“A book of two halves which will stay with you”

Gigi is a New York girl, born to a disfunctional mother and a father who loves her, but doesn’t help much. Her beloved younger brother who she largely brought up dies in the Twin Towers tragedy, and Gigi and her... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 3

“Brilliant read”

I loved this book - it was both hilarious and desperately sad. The sharply observed descriptions were brilliantly evocative of New York and London. Anyone who has had children will empathise with parts of Gigi’s... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“A fantastic portrayal of what it means to be a woman and a mother”

When I Ran Away is such a fantastic read with so many strong themes of motherhood and grief. It's an extremely astute debut from Ilona Bannister.

When I was thinking about writing this review I was wondering how... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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