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The Girl in the Red Coat Kindle Edition
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|Length: 338 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
This was such a richly crafted novel! I'm still taking everything in. When Beth's eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, vanishes without a trace right before her eyes, it feels as though her world has surreptiously turned on its axis. She retraces the events of that day every minute she's conscious. How does a parent recover from something so tragic? When the leads fizzle out and time goes on, Hamer paints a loving and endearing portrait of a mother struggling to stay alive, and to put one foot in front of the other day after day. She refuses to give up hope or to ever stop looking for her little girl.
Carmel, on the other hand, has fallen into the hands of a strange group of characters. As mother and daughter work toward finding each other, it just pulls at all the right heartstrings. Hamer's skillful use of alternating perspectives between chapters, and a totally unexpected plot twist, made this thrilling to read, and pushed me into uncharted reading waters. (view spoiler) Can't believe this is her first book. I'll be on the look out for her next book.
As a parent, I have to admit that I didn’t find the initial part of the reading pleasant, always worried I would find out the ‘real reason’ Carmel had been abducted.
The things I liked:
1. The way that Beth’s vigilance around Carmel is pictured before her daughter goes missing.
2. Beth’s ongoing grief and self-blame, and her reaction to everyone’s blame, especially her ex-husband, Nick’s, once Carmel goes missing.
3. The way that Beth doesn’t go off to drown her sorrow by falling into some man’s arms, and that she eventually finds a constructive aim in life.
4. The female friendships between Carmel and Melody especially, but also Silver in the end.
The things that weighed the book down:
1. Carmel’s telling: I sigh very deeply when supposed 8-year-olds use long words, then try to explain how they know such a word because some adult has told them what it means, or has used it, or whatever… It’s such a storytelling device that makes me feel as the reader that the author is intruding in the story.
2. How the ‘grandfather’ just knows so much about her. That is never explained.
3. How the ‘grandfather’ even came to the small town and located Carmel is not convincingly told.
4. The repetitiousness of the itinerant lifestyle. I found the middle of the novel is a great soggy blob.
5. The lack of an explanation as to what led to the denouement: was it Nick’s private eye, the police efforts in the UK, Melody’s intervention, Carmel’s breadcrumb clues? Heck, even the police at the church gathering didn’t seek Carmel out! I won’t be reading any sequel to find out. There’s only so much juice you can wring from a story, and this story has all its juice wrung out already.
6. What happened to Mercy?
7. The lack of the ending for Beth and Carmel. There may be readers who like the author to leave the telling of the ending, for the reader to pick up the pieces. But as far as I’m concerned, the greatest authorly satisfaction would have been for Kate Hamer to write the emotions that play out at the end of this novel. Not doing so is a cop out. It was the opportunity to let the author’s juices flow and really get into the emotional resolution. No, there was none for the reader. Instead there is only a plot resolution, and that only barely just.
I did struggle to read the middle two-thirds of the book. I didn’t find the novel suspenseful, the only question keeping me turning the pages being: will Carmel and Beth be reunited?”
Most recent customer reviews
Memories grew out of the darkness; their quick growing webs crossing my path so I walked into them unawares and felt their skeins across my face.Read more
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