While I’m Alone is a contemporary novel about Grace, an intelligent and creative young woman searching for her identity in the hustle of East London. On the surface Grace’s life is a charmed one, with a cool job and a swirling social life, but beneath it all something is missing. When Grace meets Drew she is sure he will be the answer to all of her problems, but things are not quite as they seem…
Nobody knows the truth about Grace’s break-up with Charlie, and she’s keen for it to stay that way. With the help of a few too many cocktails she is attempting to put her life back together, but everything is thrown out of kilter when she returns home after work one hungover Friday to find the flat she now lives in by herself has been broken into.
Her friends and family are preoccupied with their own concerns, so Grace is forced to confront her fears alone. In doing so she begins to find a new kind of happiness – one that is multiplied when Drew comes into her life.
The trouble is, she isn’t sure if he’s real.
Despite her initial doubts, the dream world Drew inhabits begins to take over Grace’s waking hours. She delves deep into her psyche and absorbs him into her work, willing him into being through the brushstrokes of her paintings.
And then one day, just as she seems to be losing hope, there he is.
The days and weeks that follow are full of confusion, but the love that grows between Grace and Drew is unmistakeable. He meets her friends and family, who are relieved to see how much better she appears to be coping. There is talk of them moving in together, of marriage, of them starting a family of their own.
Even now, though, there is darkness lurking in the shadows and it is not long before the ground begins to crumble beneath Grace’s feet: Drew disappears, and as she desperately tries to find him truths emerge which make her question again whether the man she thought she knew ever really existed.
While I’m Alone is influenced by a tradition of literature exploring women’s mental health from The Yellow Wallpaper to Before I Go To Sleep. It brings to this the contemporary concerns of a generation of young women struggling to find their place in the world – and fearing that it might just be them that’s been crazy all along.