The Girl in the Red Coatby Kate Hamer
Pub. Date: 02/16/2016
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
• Costa Book Award for First Novel finalist
• Dagger Award finalist
"Kate Hamer’s gripping debut novel immediately recalls the explosion of similarly titled books and movies, from Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, to The/i>/b>/b>/b>
• Costa Book Award for First Novel finalist
• Dagger Award finalist
"Kate Hamer’s gripping debut novel immediately recalls the explosion of similarly titled books and movies, from Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, to The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl … "—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Keeps the reader turning pages at a frantic clip... What’s most powerful here is not whodunnit, or even why, but how this mother and daughter bear their separation, and the stories they tell themselves to help endure it.” —Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
“Compulsively readable...Beautifully written and unpredictable, I had to stop myself racing to the end to find out what happened.” —Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
“Both gripping and sensitive — beautifully written, it is a compulsive, aching story full of loss and redemption.” —Lisa Ballantyne (The Guilty One)
"Hamer’s dark tale of the lost and found is nearly impossible to put down.” —Booklist
Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing.
And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone.
Shattered, Beth sets herself on the grim and lonely mission to find her daughter, keeping on relentlessly even as the authorities tell her that Carmel may be gone for good.
Carmel, meanwhile, is on a strange and harrowing journey of her own—to a totally unexpected place that requires her to live by her wits, while trying desperately to keep in her head, at all times, a vision of her mother …
Alternating between Beth’s story and Carmel’s, and written in gripping prose that won’t let go, The Girl in the Red Coat—like Emma Donoghue’s Room and M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans—is an utterly immersive story that’s impossible to put down . . . and impossible to forget.
- Melville House Publishing
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
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This one is hard to put down . Mystery , yes, but so much more . Reaches deep into the relationship between the child and her mother . Beautifully crafted first novel .
A simple style of writing with a plot that keeps you interested. I enjoyed the continuous movement of surroundings as the main characters seem to stand still.
A wonderful first novel
When I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. Some people might like this book but not me
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A little girl goes missing and a mother is devastated and in this book both the missing girl and her mother take turns narrating the story before she goes missing and the many days after. First let me say, I enjoyed the alternating narratives and I liked that we, the reader, had Carmel's perspective along with her mother, it made the book feel a little more unique as I think I have read quite a few books recently with children going missing. With this perspective, it was hard because Carmel obviously had a limited vocabulary so there were moments in her chapters where I was confused as to what she was trying to tell us, the readers.
In The Girl in the Road Coat, while at a storytelling festival, Beth loses her daughter, Carmel Wakeford. Carmel soon finds herself living with strangers in a foreign country, with a man who claims to be her “grandfather”, while Beth desperately keeps looking for her daughter. I thought the book would be a rather intense thriller – it isn’t, but it’s an equally interesting book all the same. Eight-year-old Carmel is anything but ordinary, and the chapters from her POV are really the most interesting ones. She’s highly intelligent especiallly for her age, and she’s one of the most unique characters I’ve ever read about. More than about Carmel’s disappearance, it’s really about her connection with her mother. I found that a tad dissapointing – there is no real struggle in the book. Sure, Carmel is away from home, but no one is threatening her life, or even her well being. And it’s horrible for Beth, but I felt too distanced from her to really “get” how she felt. There’s no tension, as it’s pretty obvious what will happen to Carmel once she’s abducted. Without tension, the book is an okay read at best. The writing is haunting and lyrical, which ups the rating from 3 to 3,5 stars, but I didn’t feel as engrossed inthe sotry as I could’ve been had the book been more tense.
The Girl in the Red Coat is Kate Hamer's debut novel. It's garnered lots of attention as a finalist for both the Costa Book Award for First Novel and the Dagger Award. And this is what I love about debuts - there's no history, no expectations of what the story is going to be, no familiarity with the author's style or storytelling - it's a story just waiting for the reader to discover it. Eight year old Carmel is a dreamer, often getting lost - both physically and mentally. Her single mother, Beth, struggles to keep Carmel with her in public places as the girl likes to hide. And then one day, Carmel hides too well. Her mother cannot find her.......but an older gentleman does. He says he's her grandfather and that her mother has been hurt - Carmel must come with him.....and she does. (The foreshadowing and foreboding that leads up to this is wonderful.) The Girl in the Red Coat is told in alternating viewpoints/chapters - between Beth and Carmel. Beth's chapters are marked in days - and then years as the search for Carmel continues to turn up nothing. But as readers we know where Carmel is and what has happened to her. Now, those looking for an intense suspense/mystery novel won't find it here. (Indeed, I could not slot this book into any genre.) Instead, Hamer deftly and intimately explores the aftermath of such a loss/crime/event from two very differing viewpoints. How does life go on? For both. Carmel's chapters were hard to read as they are from a child with no immediate clear picture of the deception that has occurred. But as a mother, I found Beth's just as wrenching as she tries to cope. Hamer throws in a bit of a unexpected bit with Carmel. Her 'getting lost' has a reason - and her 'grandfather' believes it has a purpose as well. I'm not quite sure how I felt about this part of the plot, but as I said at the beginning, I do like being surprised as I read. And I couldn't stop reading - I wanted to know what happened and if the two would ever be reunited. Are they? You'll have to read the book to find out. The Girl in the Red Coat was a great debut. I'll be watching for Hamer's next novel.