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As soon as I finished When I Ran Away by Ilona Bannister, I knew it would be one of my favorite books of 2022, and I was right. My only regret is that I didn’t read this book a lot sooner!
There are so many things I appreciated about When I Ran Away—the flawed characters, the relationship between Gigi and Harry, and the complicated emotions of motherhood. You know it’s an incredible book when you sob through the last 45 minutes of reading. Literally. I could NOT stop crying.
I’ll be honest – being a mom is so hard. For most of us, it’s not all “rainbows and sunshine” and we struggle (and sometimes I still struggle). And that’s why I appreciated Bannister’s realistic depiction of Gigi in her “post-partum and new mom of two” phase. The way she portrayed Gigi’s conflicting emotions, frustrations, and terror were so raw and real. The descriptions of Gigi’s labor and delivery trauma, postpartum struggles, and search for her identity are both heart-breaking and relatable to many women (myself included).
And the relationship evolution between Gigi and Harry felt so realistic. Having children changes relationships, for better and worse. I resonated with a lot of the struggles between Gigi and Harry. While their not-so-great times hurt my heart, I was rooting for them the entire book.
If (when) you read this book, I highly recommend the audiobook. The narrator, Jesse Vilinsky, was phenomenal and made the story even more incredible. Immediately after listening to the audiobook (and wiping up my tears), I ordered a hardcover copy to keep on my bookshelves forever.
Long story short—read this book!!!!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)