Friday, 8 January 2016

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

She is the missing girl. But she doesn't know she's lost.
Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children's festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days become weeks with her new family, 8-year-old Carmel realises that this man believes she has a special gift...
While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel embarks on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is - and who she might become.

This is a splendidly well thought out novel and was a fantastic read.

While I was reading this I could not help but be reminded of real life abduction cases i.e. Ben Needham, Madeleine McCan and many other lower profile cases of missing children. I think this made the story all the more real and relevant and, as a mother myself, my heart ached for the desperation felt by Carmel's mother Beth, as she lived through this nightmare.

What I thought was really clever about this book was the way the chapters alternated between Beth and Carmel which gave the novel two distinct voices throughout and allowed the reader to empathise with both characters.

What was uppermost in my mind whilst reading this book was whether Beth and Carmel would be reunited in the end. Now, as you all know, my reviews never contain spoilers, so suffice to say that I was kept guessing to the very end. I shall say no more!

The characters, the atmosphere and the plot was all wonderfully well executed being believable, intriguing and compelling.

Once again, I am amazed that this is a debut novel and not at all surprised that it was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2015. This is a novel of great skill and Ms Hamer is definitely one to watch.

ISBN: 978-0571313266

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Price (on Paperback £5.59 - Kindle £4.19

About the Author

Kate grew up Pembrokeshire and has had a passion for books since being a small child.  She has written stories ever since she could hold a pencil. She studied art in university then worked in television for over ten years - mostly on documentaries, much of which involved using her writing skills. She studied creative writing at Aberystwyth University and won a prize there for the 'best beginning to a novel' - the book that went on to be 'The Girl in the Red Coat.'

She won the Rhys Davies short story prize in 2011 and the winning story was read out on Radio 4.

Kate currently lives in Cardiff with her husband and Mimi the cat. 

In respect of those parents and children for whom child abduction is a reality:

No comments:

Post a Comment