“The brilliant author of this brilliant book” will have you laughing and crying as Meredith, after spending three years inside her house, figures out how to rejoin the world one step at a time (Gillian McAllister, author of the Reese’s Book Club Wrong Place Wrong Time).

Mental illness, sexual assault.

She has a full-time remote job and her rescue cat Fred. Her best friend Sadie visits with her two children. There’s her online support group, her jigsaw puzzles and favorite recipes, her beloved Emily Dickinson poems. Also keeping her company are treacherous memories of an unstable childhood and a traumatic event that had sent her reeling.

But something’s about to change. First, two new friends burst into her life. Then her long-estranged sister gets in touch. Suddenly her carefully curated home is no longer a space to hide. Whether Meredith likes it or not, the world is coming to her door…

Don't just take our word for it...

“A novel that examines our most private spaces and what it means to be alone versus lonely, this charming, thought-provoking debut novel will be a big hit.”
– Good Morning America

“A gorgeous, charming novel…Sweet, moving, funny and hopeful, with a courageous heroine who sweeps you up in her story.”
– Jennifer Saint, bestselling author of Ariadne

“I laughed, I cried, and I bowed down to the brilliant author of this brilliant book.”
– Gillian McAllister, New York Times bestselling author of Wrong Place Wrong Time

Taste the very first page

I’ve got six minutes to walk to the train station, plenty of time if I wear my flat boots. My trench coat is hanging on the hook by the front door, my red hat stuffed in its pocket. My bag on the kitchen table contains everything I need for a day at the office. My hair is freshly washed and straightened; my lips are glossed. They match my hat – by chance, but I like it.

Somewhere between the kitchen and the front door I become aware of a seed of doubt in my throat. I can’t swallow it down or cough it up. My chest is tight, my palms hot. Tingles race up my arms, like tiny electric shocks. I keep my eyes on the floor, watching my feet slide across the wooden boards I’d sanded, so painstakingly, only a month earlier. It’s as if they belong to someone else.

I slump on to the stairs, sit on the third step from the bottom and try to swallow. I’m still staring at my feet, encased in the thick socks I always wear with my flat boots because I tend to be between sizes and I’d opted to go up a half in them. The boots stand tall and proud beneath my coat at the end of the hall. I know they’re there, but I can’t reach them.

All I have to do is walk to the door. Slide my feet into my boots and pull the zippers. Put on my coat and my red hat. Hook my bag over my shoulder and lock the door behind me. A simple sequence that takes less than a minute of my day. If I leave now, I can still make my train. I can still get to work on time.

But the seed in my throat is swelling. I gulp for air. There’s nobody here to help me and I can’t help myself because my arms and legs are on fire.

When I can finally take my phone out of my bag, three hours have passed, I’ve had twelve missed calls, and I’m still sitting on the third step from the bottom…