The Girl She Was Book Review

‘She’d long ago stopped wondering whether anyone would find out what she’d done. It was in the past, and Layla didn’t dwell on the past.’

At the cafe in the small town of Glasswater Bay where she works after school, seventeen-year-old Layla enters into a volatile relationship with her married boss.

Twenty years later, she receives a message from her former boss’s wife.

As Layla relives the events from her youth that have shaped her present, her past starts to infiltrate her life in a way she can no longer ignore.

She’s run from her town, her friends and the memory of what she’s done. Now she must face them all.

Duffy’s Thoughts On The Girl She Was

I have truly been blessed by the bookworm gods for some exceptional books to read whilst on lockdown. The first week or so, I could barely read a page before losing interest, but some impeccable writing has my love for reading reignited.

I’ve read love stories, thrillers, up-lit (yep, that’s a thing) and smart, yet confronting fiction such as The Girl She Was. Disclaimer though, this book will trigger memories of your awkward teenage years. You know those nights when you can’t sleep and that 4am burn in your stomach that flares up when you think of all the times you made stupid mistakes and were reckless with your self-worth, your body and your safety? The Girl She Was will bring those flooding back.

We’ve all been Layla, Renee, or Shona to some degree and growing up in a small town, even across the other side of the world, still held similarities for me. Wanting to be popular, but not wanting to be noticed, not feeling the prettiest and then thinking you’re the best thing ever and too good for those around you. Ultimately, it all comes to a head.

Rebecca Freeborn encapsulates Layla’s life in such a detailed way, you will find yourself blurring your own story with hers and wanting it all to be alright in the end.

The Girl She Was is an absorbing if confronting read that I fell into and read in two sittings. Another win for talented female writers.

Published by Pantera Press available from Booktopia and all good book stores