The World at My Feet by Catherine Isaac
Review by Kelly Lacey
The World at My Feet
I was delighted to be asked to be a part of the book tour for Catherine Issac’s latest release. I adored Messy Wonderful Us. So I said yes without knowing what the book was about. I didn’t realise quite the journey I would go on with it. My post is late but my review will explain why and hopefully the lateness forgiven.
Ellie Heathcote is an Instagram influencer. Her account features stories and grid posts from her garden. A little haven of delight and tranquillity. In reality, it is a safe bubble for Ellie who has agoraphobia. Ellie lives in a little annexe of her parent’s house. Ellie’s agoraphobia stems from her childhood.
I was blown away as I started to read the book. I have never read one with a character that has my illness. I have traumatic agoraphobia and it has consumed my life. I have to try and separate my life experiences from Ellie’s. However, the book made me have a blip. Reading about Elle’s anxiety and panic attack experiences opened up old boxes of emotion in my head. It made me reflect on old noise and the parallel between my life and Ellie’s was intense.
So I stopped reading for a few days and pulled myself together and started it again. I too live in a bubble. I moved home to get better and I have been here for over 11 years. For an intense five years, my foot never went outside. So I feel I am in good shoes to be able to understand Ellie.
I loved Ellie so very much. It was nice to see she found a way to have a life without having an outside life through Instagram. I’ve read comments online about her being unrealistic and people saying she was hard to connect with. I 100% do not agree all I saw was a vulnerable loving soul. It makes me sad that different equals weird to some people.
I cried at a certain bit that included music, trying hard not to give too much away. That was my favourite bit. I was worried that love was going to swoop in and make everything better. I have to be honest and say I strongly disliked Colette. I have had many therapist’s who have said you have to come to the office. I never called them again and in my opinion, they did more harm than good. So fictitious Colette can go and boil her head. She made me so mad! I know that she was trying to help Ellie by pushing her to go but it does more harm than good. I know myself being made to go in such a way put me in bed for weeks.
I can’t help but look at the book through my life’s journey. There were some situations where I was like Ellie wouldn’t be able to do that and it really frustrated me. But I had to remind myself too that this was fiction.
I really enjoyed the back story of Ellie and learning it through Harriet. Catherine Issac has a knack for writing for all the senses. So I could smell the stench and decay that Harriet experienced. It was very powerful and will stay with me.
Overall this was a life lesson for me that I wasn’t expecting and I am grateful for that. I want to emphasise to anyone struggling with agoraphobia that it will get better. If you can find a Dr that you like and an understanding therapist that really helps. Plus remember you are “normal” and your illness doesn’t define you.
I would recommend Catherine Issac books to fans of Rachael Hore and Liz Trenow.
Thank you to the ED PR team and Simon & Schuster for my gifted copy. My review is honest and all views and opinion’s are my own.
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