Title: Baby Doll
Author: Hollie Overton
Paperback: 384 pages
“Overton’s depiction of a psychotic, arrogant and violent rapist has the ring of truth. Baby Doll is a book you won’t be able to put down.” – Richard Madeley.
I purchased this book for £2 with a newspaper, an offer I saw whilst passing through a shop to grab my lunch. I picked it up on a whim after giving it a really quick scan. I thought I couldn’t really go wrong for £2, if it was that bad, I would just donate it. However, I’m really glad I saw this book when I did! I definitely think it should be getting a little bit more hype than it does, it’s a really original concept (to me anyway).
This book explores the story of a girl called Lily who was kidnapped, raped and abused by a man called Rick. At the start of the book, you’re introduced to what happened, Lily’s family and their heartbreak in her disappearance. You learn that Lily has a twin sister, Abby, who has arguably been affected the most by her disappearance.
In the period of time that Rick has held her captive, Lily has had a little girl whom she calls Sky. It is due to this that her drive to escape has increased. One day, Rick makes a mistake which leads to a chance for Lily to escape. Upon escaping, she discovers that she was less than a 10-15 minute walk from her home this entire time, all these years. It’s a bit of salt to the wound, knowing everyone was looking for her and she was under their nose the whole time.
Running back to her old house, she reconnects with her family. She learns a lot of things have changed in her disappearance. This is where the story mainly starts. We learn about Lily’s reintegration back into society, how all those years of torture and neglect have affected her and her daughter, Sky. Sky has never experienced the normal light of day, normal education, normal anything. She is an incredibly polite little girl, but she doesn’t understand why her daddy is gone and why she can’t see him.
As the story moves on, you follow Lily’s fight to get her kidnapper behind bars. She fights with herself a lot, debating whether she will be believed or not. As I said, it was really interesting to me to see the other side of a story like this. Instead of focusing on the actual kidnapping, the years spent down there, what was done to her, we focus on her recovery, her road to freedom, whilst also getting snippets of what happened down there to make her the way she is.
All in all, this was a really gripping story and one that I couldn’t put down. For a debut novel, this was fantastic. The writing style and storyarc were both developed and interesting. I am definitely excited to see what else Hollie Overton has in story for the future.
Until next time!
Love & Laughter