The Girl in the Red Coat

After reading a review of Kate Hamer’s The Girl in the Red Coat I decided to treat myself to a copy. Girl in the red coat

Here’s what the blurb says: ‘MISSING, Carmel Wakeford, 8-year-old girl, last seen wearing a red coat …

‘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, Carmel realises that this man believes she has a special gift, that she is potentially a saviour…

‘While her mother desperately tries to find her, Carmel is sent on an extraordinary journey, one that will make her question who she is – and who she might become.’

As well as the story, which is described as ‘disturbing’ and ‘original’, there were a few things that interested me about this novel.

  1. The book is narrated from the point of view of an eight-year-old girl. I’m really interested to find out how Hamer handles this. Capturing the child’s voice and showing events from a child’s point of view can be very difficult. I’m speaking from experience here as my first novel is from a child’s perspective and is causing me no end of sleepless nights. I found it very difficult to tell my story solely through my child character. To solve the problem I decided to tell the story in alternating perspectives of mother and daughter, which appears to have helped, I think. But I’m not sure. When I discovered that Hamer uses alternative perspectives of the grieving mother and missing daughter I knew I had to read it. If only to see how a published novelist handles this choice of narrative perspective.
  2. The novel is described as a page turner. This week I’ll be doing quite a bit of travelling so I thought it would be perfect to spend the time engaged in a good book.
  3. The Girl in the Red Coat is Hamer’s first novel and I love reading novels by talented new writers. Hamer has already had success with various short story competitions including winning the Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.
  4. The review I read was very positive which made me feel that the novel would be worth reading.
  5. Hamer did a Creative Writing MA. As an MA writing student I’m always keen to read what other writers produced while on their course. Hamer also did the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, which is something I’d also like to do.

I think that’s enough reasons! It looks like a good book, and I’m very much looking forward to reading and reviewing it.

About the author                        

‘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 BBC Radio 4. She has recently been awarded a Literature Wales bursary. She lives in Cardiff with her husband. The Girl in the Red Coat (March 2015) is her first novel.’

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