Monday, March 14, 2016

The Girl in the Red Coat - Kate Hamer - Review AND Giveaway

The Girl in the Red Coat is Kate Hamer's debut novel. It's garnered lots of attention as a finalist for both the Costa Book Award for First Novel and the Dagger Award.  And this is what I love about debuts - there's no history, no expectations of what the story is going to be, no familiarity with the author's style or storytelling - it's a story just waiting for the reader to discover it.

Eight year old Carmel is a dreamer, often getting lost - both physically and mentally. Her single mother, Beth, struggles to keep Carmel with her in public places as the girl likes to hide. And then one day, Carmel hides too well. Her mother cannot find her.......but an older gentleman does. He says he's her grandfather and that her mother has been hurt - Carmel must come with him.....and she does. (The foreshadowing and foreboding that leads up to this is wonderful.)

The Girl in the Red Coat is told in alternating viewpoints/chapters - between Beth and Carmel. Beth's chapters are marked in days - and then years as the search for Carmel continues to turn up nothing. But as readers we know where Carmel is and what has happened to her.

Now, those looking for an intense suspense/mystery novel won't find it here. (Indeed, I could not slot this book into any genre.) Instead, Hamer deftly and intimately explores the aftermath of such a loss/crime/event from two very differing viewpoints. How does life go on? For both. Carmel's chapters were hard to read as they are from a child with no immediate clear picture of the deception that has occurred. But as a mother, I found Beth's just as wrenching as she tries to cope.

Hamer throws in a bit of a unexpected bit with Carmel. Her 'getting lost' has a reason - and her 'grandfather' believes it has a purpose as well. I'm not quite sure how I felt about this part of the plot, but as I said at the beginning, I do like being surprised as I read. And I couldn't stop reading - I wanted to know what happened and if the two would ever be reunited. Are they? You'll have to read the book to find out. (Scroll down to the bottom to enter to win a copy!)

The Girl in the Red Coat was a great debut. I'll be watching for Hamer's next novel.  Read an excerpt of The Girl in the Red Coat.

"Kate Hamer is a winner of the Rhys Davies Short Story Prize. Girl in the Red Coat is her first novel. It is shortlisted for the Costa Book Award for First Novel and a finalist for The Dagger Award. She lives in Cardiff, Wales with her husband and two children." You can connect with Kate on Twitter @kate_hamer. See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.

And if you'd like to read The Girl in the Red Coat, I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Ends March 26/16.





16 comments:

bermudaonion said...

The book sounds terrific and I'd like to enter your giveaway but it's not open yet.

traveler said...

I am enthralled with this novel. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

A good storyline, I would like to read it.

Margie said...

Sounds like a great debut. I like that it is written in two voices. Thanks for the giveaway.

Margie said...

Sounds like a great debut. I like that it is written in two voices. Thanks for the giveaway.

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Karin R. said...

Sounds good, thank you!

Vicki said...

I've been wanting to read this book since the first time I saw it. Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds wonderful yet heartbreaking.

Suzy

TarheelFIT1 said...

I love how you said the book can't be classified in any one genre, making it unique and appealing. Beautiful cover, too.

Tammy D said...

Sounds like a great read, thanks for the chance to win

holdenj said...

Sounds like a good read, and interesting premise. Thanks!

Ophelia said...

Looks like EXACTLY the book I'd want to read! Thx for the opportunity!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

Patti V said...

I love debut novels. I usually get hooked and can't wait for the author to write more!

Caitlin said...

I like debuts too and I love the cover.