My new novel follows a British student as she leaves her past behind her to go and study in California. Make no mistake, Natasha is a go-getter, a fighter, not a victim.
Abuse is ugly and all too often an assumption takes place, labels stick. Once a victim, always a victim? Abused children go on to replicate what was done to them?
I don’t think so. Yes, of course it does happen, but a difficult upbringing is never an excuse and many of us do go on to become loving parents. Perhaps it makes us better parents, I don’t know but for those who recover and break the cycle life becomes a constant search to better ourselves, a perpetual discovery and lightbulb moments. For even after all these years you suddenly get a better understanding of past events and with life experience you might understand, not excuse, what pushed people to act the way they did but also to understand you were not the only one, that it didn’t happen because of something you did.
Whatever happens to us, we have a choice, we can turn our lives around instead of seeing ourselves as victims.
In Nowhere Left to Hide, Natasha has to fight her childhood ghosts. She’s had to run away many times, she knows what it is to live in fear and run away in the night.
When she’s offered the opportunity to study in Santa Barbara she does not hesitate despite being warned of the challenge ahead of her. She doesn’t even consider it a challenge, rather she sees her chance to be free and seizes it.
Being so far away from her tormentors and her fears she can finally be herself and shake off the labels. She makes friends and falls in love. The big question is: can she conquer her last fear?
- Living in fear, and writing about it (elleamberley.co.uk)
- Nowhere Left to Hide Review (elleamberley.co.uk)
- Stalking victims claim crime not taken seriously enough (guardian.co.uk)
- What’s in a location? Why Santa Barbara? (elleamberley.co.uk)
- An interview with Molly Hacker (elleamberley.co.uk)