You’ve been held captive in one room.

You’ve been mentally and physically abused every day since you were sixteen years old.

Then, one night, you realise your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.

For the first time in eight years you’re free.

This is what happens next.


‘Baby Doll’ by Hollie Overton is a gritty tale centred on the premise of retribution.The perspective Holly Overton chooses is both interesting and refreshing as it is the story of Lilys escape and readjustment into normal life… Told from 4 different viewpoints I enjoyed the varying perspectives on the situation and found that once I started reading I wanted to keep going, this page turner, hooks you and you invest a lot of emotion in the characters especially Lily and her young, fragile daughter Sky who was born in captivity and knows nothing of the outside world.

Although the tale is a harrowing one, Lily a young woman about to start out in life is captured and held hostage for over 8 years by a man who the wider community and lily liked and  trusted, as the reader we know that Lily is subjected to psychological and physical torture as well as rape and that while in captivity she has given birth to a daughter, however we are spared the graphic details of the degradation and abuse she endured as the author cleverly alludes to her treatment without going into specifics , at times I was grateful for this- as this didn’t detract from the the story  which didn’t need passages of gratuitous violence and took nothing away from the emotional depth of the story or the journey you share with Lily and her family. You do become entrenched in the emotional health of the characters as you empathise with Lily and imagine how you personaly would cope if in the same horrifying situation. It evokes powerful emotions and can be upsetting at times, I felt I became really caught up in the families emotions, each and every character has a lot of adversity to overcome in this story and it was written with a depth and emotion that made it easy to so.You put yourself in all the characters shoes and although I feel this wasn’t as dark as I had expected it didn’t need to be- the story of a young woman losing such a large chunk of her youth and freedom and the horrors she endured is both heartbreaking and thought provoking, as was trying to understand how the family left behind not only dealt with her unexplained disappearance and the loss that ensued… but of her return after all that time, as a lot had changed in the missing years. In my opinion for a writer to be able engage the reader to the degree Hollie Overton does is a real skill, especially for her first novel.