The Ice Cream Girls
by Dorothy Koomson
I first came across Dorothy Koomson as a writer when I read the much publicised "My Best Friend's Girl" way back when it was a Richard & Judy Summer Read - it may have been Ms Koomson's third novel - but for me it was her first, and it will always remain my favourite. I have been avidly collecting and reading all of the rest of her books ever since, and The Ice Cream Girls has been the latest one I have read. The writer likes to tackle emotional issues in her stories, although for me it is the depth of characters and realism that also shine through.
The Ice Cream Girls tells the story of two young women who were charged at a very young age with a brutal crime. One girl is convicted, and one is cleared. Now their paths cross again, and we are witness to the development and fall out that this brings to their lives. We learn the history to their supposed crime, told in sometimes alarmingly graphic detail, and are slowly drawn into their world - even thinking, what would I do in their situation?
This is one excellent novel! It is bold in the way it tackles a potentially very sensitive subject, and yet treats it with compassion at the same time. Personally, I thought it had a touch of "Martine Cole" about it - not in a bad way, but in it's realism, grittiness and down to earth nature - although it still retains Ms Koomson's own style and identity.
The characters are well drawn and totally credible, and the writer's ability to tell the story from two peoples angles, at two different ages in their lives, shows a lot of talent. The stage is again very credible - no yummy mummies, or public school off spring here (my banes of modern "chick lit") - set in Real England, warts and all. It is interesting to see how one act can touch so many lives, even years after it has taken place, and this adds depth and intrigue to the story. There are buried secrets and inner turmoils to be uncovered, moral avenues to be explored, and engaging people to meet.
Oh, and also there is a great twist in the tale at the end!
If you are interested in this, or any other book by Dorothy Koomson, or indeed finding out more about the lady herself, then she has an excellent website at www.dorothykoomson.co.uk which I urge you to explore.
Is My Best Friend's Girl still my favourite? Hmmm, to be honest, I'm not too sure any more!
Next month's Sunday Bookworm will be posted on 17th July 2011 and I will be reviewing...
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
I do hope you will join in and send me any comments!