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The Girl Behind the Gates

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529367294

Price: £19.99

A raw, heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting novel about a young woman cut down in her prime, and of the woman who brings her back to life.


‘Compelling. Poignant. Haunting. Heart wrenching. Just beautiful. Everyone needs to read this wonderful book.’ – Renita D’Silva, bestselling author of The Forgotten Daughter

1939. Seventeen-year-old Nora Jennings has spent her life secure in the certainty of a bright, happy future – until one night of passion has more catastrophic consequences than she ever could have anticipated. Labelled a moral defective and sectioned under the Mental Deficiency Act, she is forced to endure years of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of those who are supposed to care for her.

When psychiatrist Janet Humphreys comes across Nora, heavily institutionalised and still living in the hospital more than forty years after her incarceration, she knows that she must be the one to help Nora rediscover what it is to live. But as she works to help Nora overcome her past, Janet realises she must finally face her own.

Based on a true story, The Girl Behind the Gates is the raw, heart-breaking yet ultimately uplifting tale of a young woman cut down in her prime, and of the woman who finally brings her back to life, perfect for fans of The Girl in the Letter and Philomena.

(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd


Compelling. Poignant. Haunting. Heart wrenching. An eye-opener of a story that will stay with you long after you've read the last page. Hard to believe this is a debut as the writing is assured and beautiful, the characters vividly brought to life on the page. I lived every minute of this harrowing story that will resonate with everyone. Just beautiful. Everyone needs to read this wonderful book.
Renita D'Silva, bestselling author of The Forgotten Daughter
The Girl behind the Gates absorbed me from the start and had me invested in Nora's story throughout. In this haunting debut novel, Brenda Davies takes us on a journey that is often uncomfortable, at times painful, but always told in beautiful prose and with great compassion and insight. Although horrified by the deplorable ways in which psychiatric patients were treated in the last century, I was also inspired and uplifted by the triumphant power of the human spirit and people's capacity to love and nurture others. A heart-wrenching but ultimately heart-warming novel that acts as a great advocate for the humane treatment of mental illness.
Gill Thompson, bestselling author of The Oceans Between Us
The Girl Behind the Gates is a powerful, emotional novel - harrowing in parts but always authentic and full of insights and compassion. It's an important reminder of the abuse suffered by unmarried mothers - and many young women generally - only a matter of decades ago - and a sobering account of the best and worst of human nature. I was moved to tears by the ending and will certainly not hesitate to recommend it.
Jill Childs, bestselling author of Gracie's Secret
A powerful story of trust, compassion, healing -- and the transforming power of love, that can give new life to a broken spirit.
Sharon Maas, bestselling author of The Violin Maker's Daughter
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Girl Behind the Gates. It's a powerful true story written with such a light but sure touch - hauntingly beautiful and wonderfully uplifting.
Karol Griffiths, Hollywood script consultant and author of THE ART OF SCRIPT EDITING