The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson

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Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the ice cream girls. As teenagers, they had been embroiled in a murder case and a glamorous picture of theirs eating ice cream had been published, dubbing them the ‘ice cream girls’.

The trial resulted in Poppy being found guilty of murder while Serena was found innocent. Years later Poppy has finally been released from prison, and she is on a mission. She wants to make the real killer, Serena, confess and clear her name. Serena, on the other hand, had put it all behind her, and is leading a normal middle class life. Her husband doesn’t know that she was one of the Ice Cream girls, she would rather keep it that way. Bringing the past back would make her life a living hell. But would Poppy allow her that? What happens next? You have to read it to find out. The one thing I can reassure you is that you wouldn’t be able to put it down.

How did I find it? It was a great book. It explores such a scary issue and in a great way. The ways in which young teenagers could be vulnerable to influences and how easy it is take advantage of them. To elaborate anymore would take away from your enjoyment of the book.

The book is written from Poppy and Serena’s perspective and goes back and forth in timelines as well. The stark difference in Poppy’s and Serena’s lives are brought out so well, when the narratives change. Amidst all the turmoil in her life, Serena is a mother who lives a very regular life, and its so easy to identify with her and her concerns. It builds up very well, and ends very well too. I actually liked the ending. It was realistic although I did read reviews where people were disappointed by the way it ended. In a lot of ways it’s also an education, in how easily things could go wrong. Both Poppy and Serena were just regular youngsters, until everything went all wrong.

It’s a beautiful book, handling a very tough subject, and I think Koomson handled it very well. If you do pick up this book, do keep a box of tissues handy, because if you are anything like me, you’ll have tears pouring down.

I give it a 5/5.

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New Discovery – Dorothy Koomson

Starting a new book blog seems to have got all my creative ideas flowing. I seem to be bubbling over with ideas. I just hope they stay in my brain long enough for me to jot them down.

One of the things that I want to do is have a section on the new authors(new for me), that I have come across and have loved. I might even do mini reviews of their books in the post. Or maybe link up the reviews I have already done.

Dorothy Koomson is today’s author. I came across her books in Goodreads. Somehow they had never crossed my path before. Needless to say, I’ve loved her writings. So far, I’ve read two of her’s Marshmallows for Breakfast and The Cupid Effect. While I enjoyed Marshmallows For Breakfast far more, both stories had been different, and page turners in their own way. Gripping storylines, very interesting characters.

I’m reading The Ice Cream girls by the same author, and am finding it just as gripping. I’ve just started the book though.

So tell me, have you read her books? How have you found them? And which book would you recommend of hers?

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

I got introduced to Trigiani’s books over 10 years ago. I think Big Stone Gap was the first I read, and have been hooked ever since. They’re different, her books. The characters vivid and the descriptions beautiful. I try to get hold of her books as soon as then are released, but don’t always get hold of them as quickly as I would like, though. Also, I just realized that I have never reviewed any of her books so far.

showmaker's wife

I had my eyes on this one for a while now, and when I saw it on the library shelves, I just jumped on it.

Ciro and his brother, Eduardo grow up in a convent, in the beautiful Alps. They plan their future lives in the mountains, but circumstances take the brothers to two different parts of the world.

Enza, the eldest if her siblings is a mature, smart girl when she first meets Ciro, when he was still at the convent. Their first meeting, short but full of passion stayed just that when Ciro gets sent away from the convent and they lost touch with each other. Ciro reaches America, and sets off to make his fortune as a shoemaker’s apprentice.

Unknown to him, Enza and her dad, land up in America as well, forced by circumstances. Enza struggles to earn her keep and send money back to her mother, until she  then lands up with a wonderful job, with people who cared deeply about her. Both of them live an immigrant’s life in America, their hearts pining away for the hills they left behind, America of the early 1900s described beautifully through their lives.

Their story as they work hard, grab at opportunities, and come together finally, is a beautiful tale. Their emotions, their passions, the hardships they suffer is vividly described, as is the beauty of the Alps and America through their eyes. It made me want to go visiting this part of Italy. How gorgeous she makes it all sound! Her descriptions are just divine. A sweeping  epic tale of Ciro and Enza’s love, family bonds, friendships and dreams.  The story was apparently inspired by her grandparents’ story, and I think it made it really special. There were bits which made for slow reading, but all in all, a lovely book.

Edited to add: As per Scribby’s suggestion, this is a 4/5 read.

Have any of you read this book? How did you find it?

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

I think TGND recommended this author, but took me a while to get hold of the book.

Beatrice rushes back from New York when her mother calls her up to report that her sister Tess has gone missing. Far though she was, the sisters had been incredibly close and Beatrice couldn’t imagine where her sister had gone missing. She just believed that her sister, with her different lifestyle would have just forgotten to inform anybody about where she was. Until they find her body. And what was even more shocking is that she seemed to have taken her own life.

That possibility is just unbelievable for Beatrice, for various strong reasons, but nobody else seems to want to listen to her. Beatrice, takes an impulsive decision of moving into her sister’s flat and trying to go where nobody else wants to. As she digs into her sister’s life, possible suspects emerge and before she knows it, she is in trouble herself. And alone.

Beatrice’s search for the truth, leads her to face up to some facts of her own life which she had been hiding away from. Getting justice for Tess becomes a journey in itself for Beatrice, changing her life beyond her wildest dreams.

The book beyond being just a crime fiction. A story that has so many aspects to it. The sisters bond, their past, which makes them who they are. the ways they handled grief, medical ethics… All together made it an unputdownable book. I would definitely, definitely recommend it.

PS: I’m not putting up a picture, its way too much work, while posting on the phone.

Also, I’ve been wondering if its a good idea to make a separate blog for the book reviews? What would you say?