by admin

January 2, 2023

Monday, 5 October 2009

Book Review – Willow by Julia Hoban

Willow by Julia Hoban


A year ago Willow’s life changed beyond recognition. One rainy night she lost control of the car and both her parents were killed. Now she is living with her brother, who she thinks hates her, his wife and baby daughter. The only thing that stops Willow being overcome by emotional pain is the physical pain she inflicts on her body with a razor blade.

Then she meets Guy and everything changes, again.


Willow is an addictive read. The writing is so immediate and so vivid, that I found myself completely immersed in Willow’s world.

It’s not a good place to be.

Julia Hoban takes us into Willow’s head. We see how she twists everyone’s words and actions to support her view of herself. We’re also shown how cutting is the only light in the dark place she inhabits. It goes from being a foreign and unimaginable act to something understandable.

I never thought I would empathize with someone who cuts, but Julie Hoban’s writing is so wonderful, I found myself doing exactly that.

Nor did I think a book about cutting would be one of the best I’d read this year, but it is, because while Willow is about cutting, it is also about so much more.

Willow is a difficult, intense and at times heartbreaking read. But it is also hopeful and beautiful.

Everyone should read it and my thanks to Beth Fish Reads whose wonderful review made me move outside my comfort zone and give this book a chance.


  1. Wow! Sounds like a really tough subject. How on earth would a young girl deal with the guilt of causing her parent's deaths? Don't know if I could read a difficult subject like that, but you make it sound worth reading and maybe I'll have to try it. Really good review!


  2. Alexia thanks. I really hope you read it. It's a wonderful novel.


  3. I thought this book was just great. Not enjoyable because of the difficult subject matter, but soooo good. Great review!


  4. Whoa! I'm so glad that the book struck a chord with you too. The book definitely has powerful effect on the reader.


  5. This sounds intriguing. When I was a social worker, I worked with teens for awhile, and some of them had these "cutting" issues.

    A very compulsive trait, it says a lot about self-hatred and low self-esteem.


I adore comments, so thanks so much for taking the time. I'll try and return the favour πŸ˜€

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