Francesca Catlow’s debut novel, The Little Blue Door, is a captivating story which, from the opening lines, captures the feelings of the main character completely. The character is so beautifully crafted that we feel as though we know Melodie from the moment we meet her. It is a testament to Francesca Catlow’s immense talent and skill as a writer that we are drawn into her world from the first page. Her vivid imagery and intricate description evokes the enchanting beauty of Greece and immediately transports us to Melodie’s world.

Melodie is such an endearing and engaging character that the reader immediately wants to know more. We live the story through the character and we are by her side as she begins her journey of discovery, joy, and heartbreak. Catlow’s portrayal of Melodie’s loneliness throughout the novel demonstrates her absolute understanding of human nature. Melodie’s feelings, reactions and responses to the world around her create a truth and authenticity which reveals Catlow’s unique sensitivity as a writer.

Catlow creates an initial air of mystery in her main characters which intrigues but, more importantly, keeps us on Melodie’s path. As Melodie learns more about the new people in her life, so do we as the reader. Catlow ensures that we travel this road with Melodie and live her experiences alongside her; we care about her and feel both her sadness and her joy.

As Melodie’s story is gradually revealed to us, we are taken down an unpredictable road which draws us ever closer to the three main characters. She is a likeable and relatable character and we find ourselves caring about her deeply. We experience the growth and self-discovery of Melodie, Anton and Gaia as they develop and face some difficult revelations and realisations about themselves and the people they believed they knew well. Catlow’s characters are real; they are likeable yet flawed. They are real and reflect the human condition.

The Little Blue Door is a truly beautiful debut novel. Francesca Catlow is an intelligent and perceptive writer who understands how to make the reader feel as though they are an intricate part of the lives of her characters. I became absolutely invested in Melodie’s story and I look forward to reading about the next phase of her life in Behind the Olive Trees.

The Little Blue Door by Francesca Catlow

Thanks to Alex Shewan for the FAB review

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