Where She Belongs by Liz Doran
Where She Belongs is a contemporary novel by Liz Doran
Roisin has had enough. After the recession hit Spain, her husband, Javier, has fallen into an abyss of depression and is threatening to drag her down with him. To save them both, she leaves Spain and moves back to Ireland. She wants to gain control of her life, make a new start and finally follow her own dreams. With a mixture of sadness and anticipation, she moves back to Ireland, rents a house by the sea, and has a fortuitous meeting with Maggie who runs a craft boutique. At first everything runs smoothly. Too good to be true? After perfect beginnings where she meets some of the helpful and colourful characters who live there, things begin to get complicated. The first cracks appear on the façade. Why is her old neighbour, Mrs. Walsh, being threatened? What is she afraid of? And why are people suspicious of Maggie, her new friend and boutique owner?
A Word from the Author
The theme of Where She Belongs is one of empowerment, especially of women. It’s about relationships, real-life issues, starting over, overcoming obstacles, love and all that entails. But it’s also about human nature, foibles, attraction and following one’s dreams. The themes are wrapped up in an adventure where the main character, Roisin, follows her dream and goes to live by the sea in Ireland. How will she survive, will she get a job? Will she be able to afford to live there, and will she be able to survive on her own? Then it’s about the unexpected, about making decisions and the realisation that everyone is facing some sort of conflict. But more than anything else, it’s about belonging and finding one’s place.
What inspired me to write this novel? I left my home country of Ireland in my early twenties and have lived in the U.S.A. and Germany for most of my adult life. It was exciting getting to know new cultures and people and constantly reinventing myself, being flexible and learning a new language. But I often wondered what it would be like to return to live in Ireland, by the sea. By writing this novel, I feel as if I’ve actually done it. As odd as it sounds, I feel as if part of me is now there, with all the characters and places I invented. I must go and visit them soon and see what they’re up to.
(Liz Doran, July 2016)