By Any Other Name
Goodreads ratings
4.36 / 5

"By Any Other Name" Summary

By A.J. Brewster

Nobody can know the truth—her life depends on it. A tale of family, identity, and trust, about a girl struggling with life in the witness protection program.I picked up the book and thumbed through the pages. Names in alphabetical order, names with meanings, names I knew, names I'd never heard of. How to pick? Nothing that would stand out, nothing that would link me to the past—those were the instructions. The past. As if everything that had gone before this moment was buried already.Holly is 15 years old, but she's only been "Holly" for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. All, that is, except her sister Katie, who is autistic. Starting at a new school mid-year is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is anymore. Lonely and angry, she reaches out to friends—new and old. But one wrong move will put all their lives in danger.


Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

A woman navigates the complexities of love, loss, and identity in this heartwarming novel.


"By Any Other Name" by A.J. Brewster is a captivating novel that delves into the complexities of identity, love, and the power of self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque English countryside, the story unfolds with a blend of romance, mystery, and self-realization. The author masterfully weaves together the lives of the main characters, drawing readers into a world filled with secrets, passion, and unexpected twists. As the narrative unfolds, readers are taken on a journey of personal growth and introspection, making "By Any Other Name" a compelling and thought-provoking read.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story is set in the charming town of Oakwood, where the protagonist, Elizabeth, finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Recently widowed, she grapples with her sense of identity and purpose. Her world takes an unexpected turn when she meets the enigmatic William, a man with a mysterious past and an alluring presence. As their paths intertwine, Elizabeth is drawn into a web of secrets and revelations that challenge her perceptions of love, loyalty, and self-acceptance.


The picturesque town of Oakwood serves as the idyllic backdrop for the unfolding drama. With its rolling green hills, quaint cottages, and a sense of timeless charm, Oakwood provides a fitting canvas for the emotional journey of the characters. The town's rich history and close-knit community add depth to the narrative, creating an immersive reading experience.

Main Characters

ElizabethA recently widowed woman grappling with her sense of identity and purpose.
WilliamAn enigmatic man with a mysterious past and an alluring presence.
SarahElizabeth's loyal and supportive friend, who offers guidance and companionship.
ThomasA local historian with a deep connection to Oakwood's past, shaping the present and future.

Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-3: A New Beginning

Elizabeth, still reeling from the loss of her husband, moves to Oakwood for a fresh start. She meets Sarah, who becomes her confidante, providing much-needed support. Meanwhile, William makes a mysterious entrance into Elizabeth's life, sparking curiosity and intrigue.

Chapter 4-6: Unraveling Secrets

As Elizabeth and William's paths continue to cross, she becomes increasingly drawn to his enigmatic persona. Sarah expresses concern, sensing an air of mystery surrounding William. Meanwhile, Thomas, the local historian, offers Elizabeth insights into Oakwood's past, hinting at hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered.

Chapter 7-9: The Depths of Emotion

Elizabeth finds herself torn between her growing feelings for William and her lingering grief over her late husband. As she delves deeper into the history of Oakwood, she uncovers startling revelations that challenge her perceptions of love, loss, and personal transformation.

Chapter 10-12: Unraveling the Past

The intricate tapestry of Oakwood's history comes to light as Elizabeth, William, and Thomas delve into the town's archives, unearthing long-buried secrets. Emotions run high as the characters confront the complexities of their own pasts and the impact of hidden truths on their present lives.

Chapter 13-15: Embracing Change

As the characters navigate the revelations that have reshaped their lives, they find themselves at a crossroads. Elizabeth confronts her fears and insecurities, while William grapples with the ghosts of his past. The bonds of friendship and love are tested, leading to profound moments of introspection and growth.

Main Events

  1. Elizabeth's move to Oakwood and her initial encounters with Sarah and William.
  2. Uncovering the mysteries of Oakwood's history through Thomas's guidance.
  3. The evolution of Elizabeth and William's relationship amidst hidden truths and emotional turmoil.
  4. Confronting the revelations that challenge the characters' perceptions of love, loyalty, and self-acceptance.
  5. Moments of introspection and personal growth as the characters navigate the impact of the past on their present lives.

Themes and Insights


  1. Identity and Self-Discovery: The novel explores the journey of self-discovery and the complexities of personal identity in the face of life-altering events.
  2. Love and Loss: The intertwining themes of love and loss are central to the narrative, showcasing the profound impact of emotional connections and the resilience of the human spirit.
  3. Secrets and Revelations: The exploration of hidden truths and their impact on the characters' lives underscores the theme of confronting the past and embracing transformation.


The novel offers insightful reflections on the enduring nature of human emotions, the significance of personal connections, and the transformative power of embracing change. Through the characters' experiences, readers are invited to contemplate the intricacies of the human heart and the profound impact of confronting one's own truths.

Reader's Takeaway

"By Any Other Name" invites readers on a poignant journey of introspection and emotional discovery. The novel's rich tapestry of characters, intertwined with themes of love, loss, and self-realization, offers a compelling and thought-provoking reading experience. As readers delve into the intricacies of Oakwood's history and the characters' personal journeys, they are left with a profound sense of the enduring power of human connection and the resilience of the human spirit.


In conclusion, "By Any Other Name" by A.J. Brewster is a captivating exploration of love, secrets, and the transformative nature of personal growth. Set against the backdrop of a picturesque English town, the novel weaves together the lives of its characters in a tapestry of emotions and revelations. Through its themes of identity, love, and the impact of hidden truths, the book offers readers a compelling narrative that resonates long after the final page. With its rich storytelling and insightful reflections, "By Any Other Name" stands as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of human connection and the indomitable spirit of self-discovery.

By Any Other Name FAQ

  1. What is 'By Any Other Name' about?

    By Any Other Name follows the story of a young woman who discovers a family secret that leads her on a journey of self-discovery and uncovering the truth about her heritage.

  2. Who is the author of 'By Any Other Name'?

    The author of 'By Any Other Name' is A.J. Brewster.

  3. Is 'By Any Other Name' part of a series?

    No, 'By Any Other Name' is a standalone novel and not part of a series.

  4. What genre does 'By Any Other Name' fall into?

    'By Any Other Name' falls into the genre of contemporary fiction with elements of mystery and family drama.

  5. Where can I purchase 'By Any Other Name'?

    You can purchase 'By Any Other Name' from major book retailers, both in physical stores and online.