Book Review: The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

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Tamia Challey is living a regular happy life, with her two daughters and loving husband, Scott. She has everything she wants, a loving family, close friends, Beatrix and Mirabelle, who look out for her, and she for them. Her life comes crashing around her when one evening, the police enter her living room and arrest Scott. She is told nothing. She doesn’t know what his crime is or where he is taken, absolutely nothing. All she knows is that the life she took for granted has changed forever.

Later that night she manages to get her friend Mirabelle to babysit her daughters while she tracks down her husband at the police station. She doesn’t get to see Scott but she is told of his crime, and when she hears about who is accusing him of it, she doesn’t know what hit her. Nothing prepared her for what she encountered at the police station.

What do you do when people you believe in, people you trust completely are accused of the most horrendous of crimes? And who do you believe when you trust both the accuser and accused in equal measure. And if that wasn’t enough, another horrible crime is committed and Tami finds herself in the middle of a police inquiry, with all the fingers of suspicion pointing towards her. What is more unsettling is that she herself isn’t sure if she was indeed guilty of the crime. Life couldn’t get worse.

An absolute page turner, one that had me hooked from word go. The story is related by the various characters in first person, and they also go back and forth between the past and the present. Koomson’s characters are complicated, with secrets and hidden depths, which could be dark at times. One might not like all her characters but they are anything but boring or predictable, just like her books. At times though, I did feel that Tami felt too good to be true. Although, to be fair, she does explain why she does what she does. You feel the pain Tami feels, her confusion, her horror, and her helplessness at times, and her strength. As is with Dorothy Koomson’s books, the covers look like a light read, but are more likely than not, heart-wrenching and dark.

An interesting book, a page turner, and if you like books which while dark and troubling, has a great storyline that keeps you asking for more, this one is for you. I would rate it a 4/5.

About the Author
Dorothy Koomson is a contemporary English author. She has two degrees in Psychology and Journalism. She is a best selling author of several books.

This book is available from Amazon(UK) and Flipkart(India)

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.

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?