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Publisher's Summary

Before Ellen, things were easier and less complicated. They were either good or bad, right or wrong, black or white, and I understood the difference. Since Ellen, everything has been coloured in shades of grey.

From the author of The Secrets Between Us, part of the 2012 Richard and Judy Summer Reads, comes this dark, thrilling novel that is perfect for your book group. It's set 20 years ago against a backdrop of dreamy Cornish summers, a place where childhood friendship becomes young love, where love becomes obsession, and where obsession ultimately ends in betrayal and a tragic death. This magical novel traces a web of memories back through the years from the present day, ultimately showing that no matter how much you might try to forget the past, the past never forgets you.

©2012 Louise Douglas (P)2012 ISIS Publishing Ltd, Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about In Her Shadow

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  • Frankie
  • 05-29-20

Very good and beautifully narrated

I had just read another book by Louise Douglas, narrated by Emma Powell, and enjoyed it so much I went straight on to this one. It was just as good - an intriguing story with finely drawn characters, and again read by Emma Powell, who is one of the best narrators I have heard. She has a pleasant voice with gentle accents, never overdone; she doesn’t attempt gruff male voices, and she doesn’t over-emphasise or dramatise. Recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Alice
  • 09-15-13

A good gripping listen


This book is not as good as "The Distance Between Us", by the same author but is still a good read.

The final part of the story came as a bit of a let down as I found it a little far fetched. Also the relationship with her work colleague was frustrating in the end of the book as I felt it was rushed and also non believable, and didn't fit in with the rest of the book.... All that aside though it was a good book which I enjoyed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • hfffoman
  • 06-28-15

Slightly lightweight but very enjoyable

Would you consider the audio edition of In Her Shadow to be better than the print version?

Yes, I gave the print version 4 stars but I give the audio 5. Emma Powell is one of my very favourite readers (along with Jeremy Irons and Rupert Degas).

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, a moving story with plenty of drama

Any additional comments?

I will describe this very generally to avoid spoilers. It is the story of Hannah Brown in her late thirties looking back on some troubled events in her teens, spent in a tiny community in Cornwall, from which she has never recovered. On one level it is a story of loss and deceit and how we succeed and fail in dealing with it, but that does not give the full picture: there really is a great deal of loss and deceit, making a dramatic and moving read.

I felt that the book was competently written and captures an authentic feel for Hannah's voice. The stories of the past and the present unfold in alternate chapters, creating a suspense which builds throughout. The conflicts are reasonably ambiguous instead of overly simplistic black and white, apart from one character (Ellen's father) on whom a black and white judgement is eventually declared.

Overall it has the feel of a best-seller or holiday novel and is probably too lightweight to etch itself into my memory.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 06-26-13

Intriguing story

While I have to say I did enjoy this story but, I found it slow going to start with. Hannah works in a museum but obviously has a troubled background. She thinks she sees her best friend from her childhood but knows it isn't possible - Ellen died years ago. This 'haunting' continues while Ellen tries to come to terms again with what happened during her youth when her best friend Ellen fell in love with Hannah's foster brother with tragic results. It was beautifully read but I did have moments when I thought 'just get on with it'. However it did get there eventually and the ending was worth the wait.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katharine Kirby
  • 02-06-22

Excellent performance to listen to, complex story

Involving and exciting if an unfortunately eventually depressing story as the main character is a difficult mixed up jealous immature girl at the time of the events/crime as it were. Hugely punished by her guilt and regret, nevertheless not as much as her victims were. Lies, jealousy and secrets fill the story but with happily half a dozen plus really good people to appreciate. I understood the humanity of the story with the horrible warped psychopath at the centre to deal with. Breathless thrills build and keep you enthralled.

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  • miss s queen
  • 08-17-21

Don't do it !!

I hated this book . I'd previously listened to another by the same author and it was really good ! , (was a different narrator too ) . The story was utterly ridiculous , and the accent of the narrator and the way she spoke made all the characters sound completely unbelievable . I actually skipped to the end because I wanted to see if it was as ridiculous as the rest of the book .

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  • Lauren
  • 06-29-21

disappointed

no where near as good as this authors other books. narrator was good but didn't quite have the cornish accent I my opinion. story slow .