Before I Saw You

Out now!

Alice and Alfie are strangers. But they sleep next to each other every night.

Alfie Mack has been in hospital for months recovering from an accident. A new face on the ward is about as exciting as life gets for him right now, so when someone moves into the bed next to him he's eager to make friends. But it quickly becomes clear that seeing his neighbour's face won't happen any time soon.

Alice Gunnersley has been badly burned and can't even look at herself yet, let alone allow anyone else to see her. Keeping the curtain around her bed firmly closed, it doesn't stop Alfie trying to get to know her. And gradually, as he slowly brings Alice out of her shell, might there even be potential for more?

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What inspired this story?

'I had the idea for this book years before I started writing it. It took a few years and a trip to India for the story to come back to me! I wrote this book to try and change the definition of what ‘seeing someone’ really means. To show how powerful it is when we peel back the layers and allow someone to see who and what we truly are beneath the surface. But above all else, I wrote this book in the hope that we will stop treating vulnerability as weakness or something to be ashamed of. I hope we will see vulnerability for what it truly is, the most beautiful and precious part of human connection we have. 

This book is a reflection of so many pieces of me and I am beyond grateful to be able to share Alfie and Alice with you all' 

Emily Houghton


My heart is so full. This book handles so many difficult concepts with such compassion and grace. If there is one thing I have learnt from working in healthcare it is that everyone's journey through the system is different. I think Emily Houghton beautifully tells a range of journeys and explores so many of the emotions we see in patients. The cast of this book is eclectic and unique, with some particularly brilliant side characters. Every single one of them has depth, flaws and quirks. So many of the characters have stories that would be equally as interesting as the main plot. But Alfie and Alice are so good, they're like two halves of the same coin - opposite in so many ways but below the surface cut from the same cloth. I would give anything to read this book for the first time again. Emily Houghton is incredibly talented and I look forward to the rest of her career as an author.