An utterly charming debut reading group novel by Scottish journalist Claire Alexander, MEREDITH, ALONE follows a perfectly ordinary woman with one extraordinary thing about herself – she hasn’t left her home in three years. A warm and uplifting novel that also deals with dark themes around mental illness.
by Claire Alexander
Michael Joseph UK / Grand Central US, 2022
“My name is Meredith Maggs, and I haven’t left my home for 1,215 days.” Meredith Maggs is an independent woman living in Glasgow, with no responsibilities apart from her cat. She has a successful job, likes to cook, and has regular visits from her best friend Sadie and Sadie’s children. But Meredith is not your average 39 year old. Following a traumatic event and the breakdown of family relationships, she hasn’t left home for more than three years. Meredith would rather not think about how her old life used to be – boyfriends, a close relationship with her sister, and a bustling social life. But when two new people enter her life, asking a lot of unwanted questions about her past, Meredith is forced to confront it at last. And, slowly, she realises that her journey towards happiness and self-acceptance involves much more than walking out of her front door.
Claire Alexander lives on the west coast of Scotland with her husband and children. During her career as a freelance writer, she has written for The Washington Post, The Independent, The Huffington Post and Glamour. In 2019, one of her essays was published in the award-winning literary anthology We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor. When she’s not writing or parenting, she’s on her paddle board, thinking about her next book.