Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2017, Book Review, Books I have read

The Girl From Nowhere – Dorothy Koomson #20booksofsummer

Contemporary Fiction
4*s

A box decorated with butterflies is all that Clemency Smittson has to link her to her birth family and she has carted the box, designed for a baby to sleep in through all the ups and downs of her life. Now it is packed into a van once more as Clemency makes the move to Brighton following the breakup of a relationship. Unfortunately her new beginning comes with unexpected baggage, her Mother is moving into the perfect flat that Clemency has found to run her business making re-loved jewellery.

A chance meeting sets off a chain of events that causes Clemency to reassess her relationships with her mother her deceased father and her new-found birth family. You can’t help but feel for someone whose life story isn’t quite what they believed it to be and yet Clemency knew she was adopted, after all her parents were white. One of my favourite scenes was when Clemency was young her father who took her to a hairdressers to learn to treat her hair properly while her mother tried to ignore the fact that her daughter had a different heritage.

As much as I felt for Clemency I have to admit my true sympathy was reserved for Clemency’s mother who bravely faces up to the fact that her daughter’s birth family also have something to offer, and I could see why she was genuinely worried about is the price Clemency might have to pay for the privilege.

The setting is brilliant with the quirky shops and seaside café complete with hunky barista. This is a Dorothy Koomson book and there are few writers that manage to play on my emotions with such a deft hand. One minute I’m furiously turning the pages to see what decisions characters are going to make while wondering how I would react in a similar situation and then BAM I’ve got a lump in my throat as a touching, but never mawkish, scene arrives leaving me struggling to swallow my cocktail.

As is often the case with this author’s books there are a number of issues explored but always with the lightest of touches leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. The intricacy mirrors Clemency’s work to take an old and unworn pieces of jewellery and recreate them into something that the owner will wear. The smaller tales that her customers relate at the start of this process add layers to the story and serve to make the overall story seem realistic. Clemency is a real woman, with values which are challenged in numerous ways by a variety of people and as a result I was totally involved in her story despite on the surface leading a very different life with few of the concealed elements that our protagonist has to contend with.

One of the strengths of this book is that it doesn’t pretend not everything is resolved in the way of a happy-ever-after but after all, real life isn’t like that, people aren’t like that but it does finish in a way that makes you feel that Clemency in some way gets to belong in a fundamental way, something that she’s never felt before.

That Girl From Nowhere is my 7th read of my 20 Books of Summer  Challenge 2017

First Published UK: April 2015
Publisher: Century
No of Pages: 464
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

13 thoughts on “The Girl From Nowhere – Dorothy Koomson #20booksofsummer

  1. What an interesting premise for a book, Cleo. And there’s the whole question of the relationship one might have with biological parents if one’s been adopted. The setting does sound good, too. It sounds as though the characters are well-developed, too, even the book isn’t heavy-handed. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I found the adoption aspect very well done, as it explores not only the disloyalty Clemency felt towards her adoptive mother but the ambivalence about the story presented to her as to why she was put up for adoption, a complex situation indeed.

  2. Your review is lovely. I’d probably read this just because of the creative cover. Yeah, I do that. LOL The story sounds unique and I love character driven ones. Have a lovely weekend:)

  3. I have enjoyed a few Koomson books, (My Best Friend’s Girl, Marshmallows for Breakfast, and Goodnight, Beautiful) but it has been a while. Now I am ready to search for the ones I missed…like this one. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  4. I like the way you sneaked in the fact that you were guzzling cocktails while reading this! Still, at least you weren’t eating chocolate… *narrows eyes suspiciously*

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