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The Women Who Ran Away by Sheila O’Flanagan


This is the first Sheila O’Flanagan novel I have read, surprisingly, because she is a prolific writer. Her style is very engaging and it makes for a pleasant read. There is something quite lovely in the dialogue that comes from an Irish writer too.


This book is the story of two women, Deira and Grace, whose lives unexpectedly cross paths. The two women come across each other on a ferry crossing from Ireland to France. Both are making their respective journeys alone, something that neither of them has done before.


Deira has come from a broken marriage. She has ‘stolen’ her ex-husband's car to make the trip. It’s a trip they should have been going on together, but for various reasons it was not to be.


Grace has been sent on a journey by her late husband, Ken. He has left her detailed instructions and a kind of treasure hunt to carry out along the way. She has no idea what to expect at the end of the journey.


The two women end up travelling together. Along the way we learn more about their background stories. It turns out Deira is pretty good at working out the answers to the clues that Grace is seeking. It’s not always an easy journey as they both have to confront their demons, and often they don’t see eye to eye.


Aside from sorting out their relationships, there is a nice little road trip that takes the reader through France and Spain. We learn a few interesting facts about each destination that the women travel through as they try to solve the clues along the way.

This is a great read. It is pacey and right now with international travel restrictions in place because of Covid 19, this might just be the book to take you on a little journey.


Reviewer: Rachel White

Published by Hachette

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