The Girl in the Red Coat

by Kate Hamer

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LoveReading View on The Girl in the Red Coat

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015.

Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015.

March 2015 Debut of the Month.

A stunningly original debut that weaves a multitude of emotions throughout. Single parent Beth has a hard time keeping her daughter Carmel from randomly wandering off.  Then, when Carmel is eight she really does get completely separated from her mother and is taken in by a ‘grandfather’ figure.  Naturally one assumes the worst.  He tells her that her mother has been hit by a car and is in hospital.  He takes her to a derelict house in Wales and eventually tells her her mother is dead.  Then he takes her to America and things get very weird.  We stay with her and her first-person narrative up until she is thirteen.  We see her mother during this period too and after a slow start we race into a gripping ending.  The book is beautifully underwritten, intensely moving and very atmospheric.  Highly recommended.

Costa Judges' comment: “An exquisitely-written, insightful and wise book about mothers, daughters, loss and hope. An unputdownable read.”

Sarah Broadhurst

The Girl in the Red Coat Synopsis

She is the missing girl. But she doesn't know she's lost. Carmel Wakeford becomes separated from her mother at a local children's festival, and is found by a man who claims to be her estranged grandfather. He tells her that her mother has had an accident and that she is to live with him for now. As days become weeks with her new family, 8-year-old Carmel realises that this man believes she has a special gift...While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel embarks on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is - and who she might become.

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The Girl in the Red Coat Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.  You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'What a troubling, powerful and total emotional roller coaster of a story – brilliant!'
  • Melanie Rose - 'Gripping page-turner.'
  • Judith Cooper - 'An amazing debut novel and a recommended read.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'Immediately gripping, intensely moving and totally unforgettable this is an astoundingly well written and compelling debut novel.'
  • Rebecca Whymark - 'Not a bad book but not one I will probably re-read.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'Truly gripping and sad at times but so worth reading! I recommend this for anyone who enjoys thrillers.'
  • Jacki Moorcroft - 'Every parent’s nightmare has just come true for Beth in this compelling, page turning book which will keep you enthralled through to the last page.'
  • Joan Hill - 'This is a very good debut novel. I was quickly engrossed by the fine storytelling in the voices of Beth and Carmel.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780571313242
Publication date: 26/02/2015
Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction an imprint of Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571313242
Publication date: 26th February 2015
Author: Kate Hamer
Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction an imprint of Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Kate Hamer

Kate Hamer grew up in Pembrokeshire. She did a Creative Writing MA at Aberystwyth University and the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course. She won the Rhys Davies short story award in 2011 and her winning story was read out on Radio 4. She has recently been awarded a Literature Wales bursary. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and two children.   Author photo © Mei Williams

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