Behind Closed Doors


By Miriam Halahmy
Published 12/07/2018 | ISBN 9781910080788

Fifteen year olds Tasha and Josie are near-neighbours. But when their families let them down, they find themselves unlikely allies in a battle for survival. Josie’s mum is ‘saving the planet’ by collecting most of it, but her house is no longer safe for her own daughter. Tasha has all the clothes and kit a girl could want, but feels increasingly unnerved by her mother’s new boyfriend. Both girls turn to each other for help when they find themselves on the brink of being made homeless. Behind Closed Doors examines what it means to love and be loved and how to make a life when there is no security at home.


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Praise for the book

‘This novel moves at a breathless pace … Miriam Halahmy successfully uses a light touch with this dark material. I thoroughly enjoyed it.’ Anne Cassidy

‘A gritty, moving and seldom told story about life for vulnerable young adults on the brink of homelessness seeking comfort and friendship in each other.’ Sita Brahmachari

‘Mental health lies at the core of Behind Closed Doors, from obsessive compulsion to all the tiny but clinging fears and experiences which beset our teenage years and create our subsequent self-image. There are many tough situations, some of which every reader will recognize from their own experience. Reading this novel is engaging, exciting and empowering.’ Bridget Carrington, Armadillo Magazine

‘An incredible read for teens and adults with a quietly triumphant ending. Heart-wrenching, powerful and, ultimately very satisfying.’ Fallen Star Stories

‘Moving and powerful, Behind Closed Doors is a story of love, friendship and what home really means.’ North Somerset Teachers Book Award

‘Told through narrative extracts and transcribed blog entries, this is a quiet, unassuming novel in which the characters and the situations they find themselves in speak volumes. Halahmy chooses to raise many social issues including poverty, abuse and mental illness with teenage voices that feel authentic and true. A timely and ultimately uplifting story.’ Inis Reading Guide

‘I really enjoyed this fast-paced and gritty novel. Although dealing with some dark and mature material, Miriam Halahmy uses a delicate touch and explores these themes sensitively. I particularly liked how she dealt with events and circumstances that aren’t necessarily talked about, or don’t seem exactly harmful, but can evidently have drastic consequences. The characters, and their situations, were easy to become involved with and relatable for a teenage audience. At its heart, Behind Closed Doors is a story of vulnerable young adults struggling with the universal and timeless issues of loneliness, friendships and growing up. I would therefore recommend it as a perfect read for anyone.’ Lucy French, Suffolk Libraries

‘This was a really well written book looking into teenage homelessness and how you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Josie and Tasha are both brilliant characters going through really difficult experiences but who are in denial about how difficult things are as they try to live their lives as normally as possible. The two girls grow in strength and confidence throughout the book and give each other the strength to face what they are going through.’ Rea’s Reads

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