Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Books Read: That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says. 
‘Not me,’ I reply silently. 

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents. 

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay...

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

I've been a fan of Dorothy Koomson's books ever since I was given a copy of My Best Friend's Girl as a present 10 years ago.  I have since read her older books The Cupid Effect and The Chocolate Run and all subsequent books published and eagerly await news of each new book she's written and have never been disappointed. So when I was contacted about reviewing That Girl from Nowhere I didn't hesitate to say yes despite having a frightening TBR pile in danger of collapsing already!

The central character in the book is Clemency Smittson (Smitty to her friends) who is looking for a fresh start following the breakdown of her marriage, and the recent death of her father.  As a jewellery designer Smitty can work anywhere so she decides to relocate from Yorkshire down to the South Coast but what she hadn't accounted for was mother, who she's always had a complex relationship with, joining her for her new adventure.  Having always known she was adopted, and used to people commenting on where she came from as she looked totally different to her parents, a chance encounter with a young girl in a local cafe sets off a whole chain of events that will bring Smitty into contact with her birth family and put her into a situation that will have her facing the toughest decision of her life...

I will admit that initially I did find That Girl from Nowhere a little slow going but before long the pace picked up and soon unfolded into a story about deeply hidden family secrets and the impact that they will have on everyone concerned once they are out in the open.  At first I thought Smitty was a little cold, especially with the way she spoke to her mother and her ex, but I soon found myself warming to her as the story progressed as we see her struggling to come to terms with everything that was being uncovered about her past.  But most of all I felt sorry for her as I honestly don't know how I would have dealt with the terrible dilemma she soon finds herself in when asked to do something that will have a major impact on the lives of everyone around her. 

That Girl from Nowhere is an emotive story that tackles some hard hitting topics but sensitively and with compassion.  It's not my favourite Dorothy Koomson book, that for me is still The Ice Cream Girls, but it's definitely one I would definitely recommend reading.

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