#bookreview – The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan @gerhogan @BrookCottageBks @Aria_Fiction #blogtour #giveaway
I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan. I’m so pleased to have finally had the chance to read one of Faith’s books so I’d like to thank Brook Cottage Books for running the tour and Aria Fiction for the review copy via Netgalley. If you’d like to win yourself a copy then there’s a fab giveaway further down this page.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
How many Pages? 298
Release Date: 1st Dec 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus)
A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.
Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.
Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.
By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.
It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.
The Girl I Used to Know is the most apt title for this book. It applies to both main characters, Amanda King and Tess Cuffe. Tess is the sitting tenant in the basement flat of Amanda’s swanky Georgian townhouse and she won’t leave. She’s lonely and she remembers her first months in Dublin, away from home for the first time. Maybe that was the last time she was happy, but that was 48 years ago. Amanda is a trophy wife now, pandering to the every whim of her hotshot husband, Richard, but she’s also lost sight of who she used to be. She’s a lady who lunches now but is she really happy?
I have to say that it took me probably to about the half way mark to really settle into this book and I think it was because the characters were largely unlikeable. That’s not usually a problem for me, but maybe I wanted to like them. Then wham bam, all of a sudden things changed, the characters started to redeem themselves, I gained a real understanding of their feelings, their lives and why they behaved as they did and I got right into it.
I’d been meaning to read a Faith Hogan book for some time and this book proved the perfect introduction to her writing. She portrays so well the hard persona that people can adopt when they are lonely or sad, to keep people away when what they really need is to draw people into their lives. I grew to really like Tess and Amanda, and also the supporting characters, the gardener and the doctor in particular (I won’t say anything else about them so as not to spoil the story).
I ended up shutting the book (ok, I read it on my Kindle so it’s more like pressing the button for the last time) with a smile on my face and a real sense of satisfaction. It’s about going through bad times and coming out the other end stronger and happier, redemption, acceptance, friendship, love, family. Just lovely, it was a pleasure to read.
Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit, charm or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.
Faith was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel ‘My Husbands Wives’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin, published by Aria Fiction in 2016. Her second novel, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ is published in February 2017 – it has been included on the Netgalley ‘Hot List 2017.’ Her third novel – ‘The Girl I Used To Know’ is out in December 2017.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a rather busy chocolate Labrador. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!