Before signing my name on copies of Somewhere Only We Know, I first write a phrase that captures one of the main messages of the book: “Write a New Story.”
Somewhere Only We Know attempts to tackle the very difficult subject of abuse. The book features four girls who experience different kinds of abuse—emotional, physical, and sexual. As a result of the violence in their lives, all of the girls have fallen into varying degrees of silence about what they’ve gone through, with one of the girls even unable to speak altogether.
However, it is through writing and stories that the girls start to find a way to communicate and find hope again. Frankie, the narrator, and Lindsey, the one who doesn’t speak, read many books throughout the course of Somewhere Only We Know, and they learn how to use writing as a way to see other possibilities for their lives.
Writing is how I get through difficult situations in my life, like my experiences with depression. Writing gives me a way to work things out and see new possibilities. Writing is how I find hope.
The one thing I wanted readers to remember when they finished reading the book is that their story isn’t over yet. No matter what you’ve gone through—whether it’s abuse like the girls in my book, or any other difficult situation like depression or an eating disorder—you can change. You can find hope again. You can overcome whatever it is you’ve gone through.
You get to decide how the story ends. You get to write a new story.