Traversing three generations of women torn apart by family trauma, The Girl in the Maze explores the complex relationship and challenges involved in both mothering and being mothered.
‘I would caution you against delving into the past. The past is often best left exactly where it is.’
Emma Bowen has never had a close relationship with her mother, barely speaking with her in the last years of her life. But after her mother’s death, Emma finds something that might just explain the distance between them.
Discovering letters between her mother and grandmother, it seems to Emma that her mother has always been difficult.
As she searches for answers about her own childhood, Emma is drawn into the mystery of her mother’s enigmatic life. The more she finds, the more lost she feels, but Emma is determined to uncover her mother’s past, and the secrets held within it, whatever the cost.
An enthralling story of three women, generations apart, linked by one terrible tragedy.
*Go to notes to see trigger warnings*
A Note From the Publisher
Average rating from 35 members
There is a lot of books out there currently about mothers,and it's no surprise. It's a complicated relationship between mother and child. As Emma clears out her mother's property after her death,she discovers things that she never knew. I got completely pulled in by this one,the strained relationships,and current family dynamics and all. A very enjoyable read
With grateful thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion. Quite a spectacular book in many ways a very delicate subject and each of us has our own interpretation, I found this book extremely harrowing to read not a subject I would normally read about. A very good book which has been well thought out and exacuted extremely well.
Cathy Hayward’s “The Girl in the Maze” is an absolutely stirring debut novel. It can be a challenge for writers to accurately convey the complexity of each character’s emotions, especially when the character is not present in the scene, but Hayward has mastered the art of doing so. There are so many layers to the women and young girls in “The Girl in the Maze” but each layer stays loyal to the other. Layers become torn and taped half haphazardly back together, but when the time for questions comes, it is often too late. This book was absolutely phenomenal and I wish the whole world could read it. I want to thank netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
The Girl in the Maze is a masterfully written tale of four generations of mothers. I found it hitting close to home many times as the story created these haunting spiderwebs between the motherhood, the roles women historically played in motherhood, societal expectations, and what we find ourselves searching for in a mother as daughters. It examines generational trauma and abuse, torn and strained attachments, and finds the beauty in healing the broken parts of oneself throughout the story. I found this to be an interesting and compelling novel that I would deeply recommend.
4.5* Wow, The Girl in the Maze is hauntingly gut wrenching. It will stay with you long after you finish that last sentence. Powerful. Thought provoking. Intense. Heavy. Wonderful writing. I cant wait to read more by this author. Thanks so much to NetGalley for the early opportunity to read this one.
For her stunning debut novel, Cathy Hayward invites us to look into motherhood and the complexities of family relationships in her women fiction's The Girl in the Maze. Emma Bowen was never close with her mother. But just after her death, she discovers letters that would explain her family's hidden truths and more. With an enigmatic and haunting multi-layered narrative, Hayward draws the touching stories of 3 generations of women: Betty, Margaret, and Emma. Cathy Hayward's writing style is lyrical, sometimes promising, and sometimes brutal. She beautifully crafts the intricacies of each character and the many layers that compose this powerful story. The author explores delicate subjects such as sexual assaults, rape, miscarriages, abortions, death, and loss. The Girl in the Maze rethinks the essence of motherhood and how we come over generational trauma. I was absorbed by this novel and could not put it down.
The Girl in the Maze is a tale of three generations of a family, focusing primarily on the lives of the women: Betty, Margaret and Emma. When Emma's estranged mother dies and she begins to clear her house, a journey of discovery is set in motion as she begins to unpick the threads of a troubled past. Why did her mother, Margaret, barely acknowledge Emma's daughter, Libby, but leave her the house, why did their own relationship deteriorate, and what about the painting of The Girl in the Maze, left to a stranger in the will? I was drawn into the story quickly, and then I found it difficult to put down, as I was immersed in the lives of the characters, although I would have to add that some chapters are incredibly difficult to read. This is because of the subject matter and the disturbing themes it explores. The Girl in the Maze is an assured debut that gets right to the heart of a family and its dark secrets. Thank you to NetGalley and Agora for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.
This was a surprisingly thought provoking read about motherhood and the relationships that we have with our mothers. Covering a multi generational family Emma discovers a pile of letters written by her mother to her grandmother which then takes us on a journey of strained family relationships and dynamics. A compelling read!
This book talks about motherhood, the difficulties of being a young mother and the connections between mothers and daughters. Also there is a twist in the family dynamics that causes a rift and disconnect . My heart breaks for this book. Not only did it touch "taboo" subjects but it also showed how families have flaws and alot of times the secrets don't reveal themselves until someone passes away. I will talk about this book to everyone I know because it touched my heart that much. I thoroughly enjoyed the two POV from 1930s to 2019s.
Oh my goodness. Where to begin. From the very difficult opening to a dramatic ending this is one powerful and moving read. The subject matters are handled so delicately, which makes it even more believable, accurate and emotional. The Girl in the Maze very early on is explained as a painting. However, it really does become a symbol across the entire novel. Different characters cant really work out the image just as much as they cant figure out the history of this family. Touching, fragile. Does contain some triggers. A story that absolutely needs to be told and heard.
Emma is clearing out the effects of her Mother’s estate following her death. Their difficult relationship is part of the story, but there are so many other facets to this story. The subject matter is difficult at times and it is shocking to realise just how recently things have begun to change for women. This book was a very readable exploration of the relationships between women and their daughters, it is well written and the characters are extremely believable. Great book.
A moving story, The Girl In The Maze explores mother and daughter relationships, family secrets and shame. Parts were very hard to read and I admit to tears while reading this. There definitely should be a trigger warning about content. That being said, I feel it's a very important book for people to read.