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"the clear and popular choice.

Josie and Tasha, both fifteen, are near-neighbours. But when their families let them down, they find themselves unlikely allies in a battle for survival.

Josie is the daughter of an obsessive-compulsive hoarder whose house is no longer safe. Tasha, though materially cared for, feels threatened by her mother's new boyfriend, who her mother chooses over her daughter. They are girls on the margins of adulthood, who find themselves also on the margins of society.

"We stare at each other and in that moment everything between us changes. Tasha with the mum who doesn't protect her and me with the mum in prison, neither of us with a proper home."

Behind Closed Doors explores what teenagers are up against when there is no security at home.


As someone who actually works in the field of Hoarding Disorder I read this book with interest. So often children who live in these conditions never have a chance to talk about their side of the story , as Miriam shows, they suffer in silence. Sometimes they do not realise that not everyone lives like this. I work with the adults usually but  children ... are part of the story too, and they need to feel they have some say in their own room at least. Miriam showed great sensitivity and understanding around these issues  ... It is hard for adults to know how to ask for help ... imagine how hard it is for the young who have no idea even where to start.

Heather Matuozzo, Director of Hoarding Disorder charity, Clouds End CIC :

This novel moves at a breathless pace showing the two girls coping in impossible circumstances. Each of them have secrets and are struggling to keep up a public face. Miriam Halahmy successfully uses a light touch with this dark material. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Author, 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.
This book has completely changed my way of grasping the word 'home' will realise what 'home' is and where your real 'home' is by the end.
An Nabeshima, 17 yrs, from Japan.
Moving and powerful, Behind Closed Doors is a story of love, friendship and what home really means.
North Somerset Teachers' Book Award
A fast-paced gritty novel. Although dealing with some dark and mature material, Miriam Halahmy uses a delicate touch and explores these themes sensitively. Recommended as a perfect read for anyone.
Suffolk Libraries
Teenage voices that feel authentic and true. A timely and uplifting story.
Inis Reading Guide, 2018-19
I absolutely loved this book. A tantalising tale of young people fighting to survive in a harsh world. I HIGHLY recommend this read for both adults and teenagers - it's worth every page.
Maleeha Mir
I was gripped from start to finish. Sensitively written, deeply moving and utterly compelling.
Really well written. What I loved about this book is how much art imitates life - Tasha refuses to admit she's homeless. An uncomfortable read but a good one. Well worth it.