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The Origins of Iris by Beth Lewis

Publication Date 19.08.21

'I opened my eyes and the woman wearing my face opened hers at the same time.'

Iris flees New York City, and her abusive wife Claude, for the Catskill Mountains. When she was a child, Iris and her father found solace in the beauty and wilderness of the forest; now, years later, Iris has returned for time and space to clear her head, and to come to terms with the mistakes that have led her here. But what Iris doesn't expect in her journey of survival and self-discovery is to find herself - literally.

Trapped in a neglected cabin deep in the mountains, Iris is grudgingly forced to come face to face with a seemingly prettier, happier and better version of herself. Other Iris made different choices in life and love. But is she all she seems? Can she be trusted? What is she hiding?

As a storm encroaches, threatening both their lives, time is running out for them to discover why they have been brought together, and what it means for their futures.

Five Star Review

Uncompromising and honest account of losing your identity and sense of self to domestic abuse.

This is a hard hitting and at times brutal story yet it is also beautiful and magical. Iris entwines herself into your thoughts and heart and you can't help yourself from reading on to find out how it all ends. You care for her so much and want her to escape unharmed not only from the elements that surround her but from her wife.

The writing is beautiful and the way the author shows her inner thoughts and struggles is so cleverly plotted. I loved the sliding doors elements. The What Ifs. Even meeting herself in the mountains is so realistically portrayed. All the little emotions she feels. All the angst and hopes. What would life be like elsewhere? What secrets are hidden in the past?

I found the narrative powerful in the way that it was executed as now and then. It was so poignant to follow both timelines especially when it was about the relationship with her Dad.

An important book gorgeously written that highlights domestic abuse is not just gender specific.

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