The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer

I’d bought her a red duffel coat and that’s what she was wearing.” – Kate Hamer

So finishing The Girl in the Red Coat came about much quicker than I was expecting but I’ve had such a manic week so I’m only just getting around to posting this now – please rest assured this is no reflection at all on how the book is read. In fact, I was frantically turning the pages on day 2 in order to finish!

This convincing, addictive novel is a stand-out debut from author, Kate Hamer. I finished the novel in two sittings and, as mentioned above, I just had to know the fate of Carmel and discover what was going to happen! And I really couldn’t have guessed the outcome!

Throughout the novel, the author consistently includes beautifully descriptive and accurate sounds, sights and smells which enables the reader to really envision the goings on and the reader becomes more involved with both the novel’s plot and its characters because of this injection of real life. This also really adds to the compulsive nature of the novel because the reader is truly invested in both the novel and the central protagonists. The feelings of the characters are so accurately depicted too.. The agony and helplessness of Beth and the innocence and vulnerability of Carmel are just how you would expect the emotions to manifest in reality in similar circumstances.

The swapping between first person narrator without warning was at first slightly challenging and certainly took some getting used to. Establishing which character we were with and from whose perspective we were seeing things wasn’t easy at first but, simultaneously, this did keep me constantly engaged trying to work out from meticulous, little details which character was the current narrator before it became obvious!

I was sad to be nearing the end of reading this novel and leaving the characters I so enjoyed the company of but at the same time I just HAD to know what their destiny was. This is definitely an essential read for anyone who is looking for a compelling and hugely moving debut novel. I loved it!

My next book will be Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive, which I’m so excited to read because of various reviews and articles I have read in the lead up to the release of this book. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and I really hope we can all learn something from it too. Until next time, S x


Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.

A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive,Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

‘I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.’

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