5 books about freedom to get you through isolation

  • Being forced to stay at home can wreak havoc on your social life and mental health, and leave you feeling trapped
  • The characters in this books are all trapped in very different ways, but their stories will give you a new perspective on your situation
Karly Cox |

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The coronavirus has forced millions of people around the world to self-isolate and stay at home. The feeling of being trapped is real; you feel like you've lost your freedoms, and the fact we don't know how long this will last can make you feel even more hopeless.

But it's important to remember that people have faced far worse and come out the other side.


Set in the dark and dangerous depths of a fictitious coal mine, where men and young boys slave day and night in dreadful conditions, the debut novel by Liz Hyder is an unforgettable tale of courage.

Read our review here and buy a copy here.

The Garden of Lost Secrets

Clara may have the freedom to wander through lush, glorious gardens, but there are plenty of rooms and places that are out of bounds. When a young gardener is accused of stealing a valuable plant belonging to the owner of the country estate, Clara must help him clear his name to avoid prison - and in doing so, unearth some truths about the family she thought she knew.

Read our review here and buy a copy here.

Paper Avalanche

Rosie's mum is a hoarder. Their home is like a landfill - every time Rosie wants to go to her bedroom, she has to clear a new path through the mess. The squalor scares her, and is turning her into a social outcast. When two individuals appear and want to burrow into Rosie's life, she realises she needs to open up and accept support if she is to survive.

Read our review here and buy a copy here.

The Poet X

Xiomara is trapped by the expectations of her family, her religion, and society's expectations of her gender and race. But when she discovers slam poetry, she learns that there are other ways to live - and that the best ways involve finding, and using, your voice.

Read our review here and buy a copy here.

The Family Tree

A grown-up Benjamin revisits his childhood home after almost 20 years. He remembers his father built him a magnificent tree housel as he stares at it, all these years later, the memories begin to flow: the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and his father’s subsequent struggle with depression. Will facing his past release him from the emotional shackles he's worn since he was young?

Read our review here and buy a copy here.


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