Book Review: The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

the-rose-petal-beachWhat’s it about?

Every love story has a dangerous twist.

Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible – but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But this choice has dire consequences for all concerned, especially when matters take a tragic turn.

Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices…

My thoughts

Firstly let me say it’s quite hard to talk about the book without revealing the important parts so apologies if it feels a bit sketchy.

Each chapter is written from 4 women’s perspective; predominantly Tamia but with Mirabelle, Beatrix and Fleur thrown in for good measure so you get that all round view of events and emotions which I actually quite like; even if you do get to the end of the chapter and feel frustrated because you want to carry on with a particular storyline and not be mixed up. Overall it does give you a rounded view. However, I did find the jumping time frames on the same page, in the same chapter, a bit off-putting, trying to get my head round what’s going on when it’s switching to and fro.

Deceptions in marriage and between friends ends in tragic events and leaves Tamia left to pick up the pieces for everyone concerned. Unfortunatley for her she can’t remember the events of the night in question because she was so drunk, as her recollections return and the more she delves deeper; the more shocking revelations she uncovers until we ultimately discover what really happened and who holds the answers. This plotline reminded me of the events in The Girl on the Train which has a very similar thread.

My least favourite character amongst the women was Beatrix (believe me you’re never going to like Scott!), she came across as completely self-centred, self-indulgent and just not very nice at all – never once feeling any remorse for her actions.

It’s quite a long book at 650 odd pages; at times it dragged on a bit and I did find some points were repetitive.  I also didn’t especially like the ending and who really ‘dunnit’ but overall Dorothy Koomson manages to weave many webs of deceit against a Brighton backdrop – a great read with a lovely cover that hides not such a lovely story!

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WWW Wednesday (January 14)

Hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading and is open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

A Single BreathAm half way through A Single Breath which is our book club choice for this month. It’s a bit of a mystery but I feel there may be some romance ahead. Reminded me of TS Krupa’s Safe and Sound – the things you learn when a partner dies….intriguing!

 

 

What did you recently finish reading?

the-rose-petal-beachDeceptions in marriage and between friends ends in tragic events and leaves Tamia left to pick up the pieces for everyone concerned.

Dorothy Koomson manages to weave many webs of deceit against a Brighton backdrop – a great read.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

the-liars-chairI recently won two copies of The Liar’s Chair in a giveaway, so I gave one copy to another book club member with the intention of us all reading and discussing as an extra to our chosen read.

It’s about a hit and run, I recently read Keep Quiet which was also about the repurcussions of a hit and run so I hope they’re not too similar.

 

 What’s on your reading list this week?

My favourite reads of 2013

Out of the 64 books I’ve read this year, I gave 12 5 stars on Goodreads; these were:

(click on the titles to go to the reviews)

Perfect People by Peter James

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

The Disappearance of Emily Marr by Louise Candlish

The Second Life of Amy Archer by RS Pateman

A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay

The Humans by Matt Haig

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickinson

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Lost and Found by Tom Winter

The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thompson

It’s not always about how well a book is written but also about how much I’ve enjoyed it and I suppose at different times you enjoy certain books more than others.

What were your favourite reads of 2013?

TV Adaptation Review: The Ice Cream Girls ending

*Contains spoilers…you have been warned*

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Following on from the conclusion of the ITV drama on Friday night I just wanted to post a short update following my earlier book review. It’s also a little vent of frustration of perfectly good endings being changed to an ending that isn’t any better.

If I hadn’t have already read the book in anticipation of the TV programme then I might have enjoyed it more, but I found myself sitting waiting for scenes to happen that didn’t and was confused at other elements of the plot.

The differences I noticed firstly was that Serena is missing a sister and a son and also that the family were in Brighton for her mother’s illness. This isn’t part of the book.

Amongst others another big difference is Poppy’s relationship with her father. In the book, they idolise each other until Poppy is convicted but the TV drama shows Poppy with a step-father and they obviously don’t get on. These changes I could accept but the ending…what were they thinking? The book has a very strong ending that I didn’t see coming until it happened with Marcus’ ex-wife Marlene delivering the final stabbings after both Poppy and Serena have left the house. Neither girl in the book ever discovering what really happened. Making it a very dramatic but sad ending.

I thought that the TV adaptation was less hard hitting than the book. The book highlights quite strongly domestic violence and the predatory nature of abusers. I didn’t get this coming through so much, it was a bit softly softly.

It also appears that the author of the book, Dorothy Koomson, wasn’t all that impressed with the adaptation either but seems to have had little say in the changes. Read her blog post on her website The  Two ‘Ice Cream Girls’.

Anyone else have opinions on changing good endings?


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Talk of the Town

Book Review: The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson

icecreamgirlsWhat’s it about?

As teenagers, Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ by the press and were dealt with by the courts. Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried – and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again …Gripping, thought-provoking and heart-warming, The Ice Cream Girls will make you wonder if you can ever truly know the people you love.

My thoughts

I’m a bit late to the party in terms of discovering Dorothy Koomson – she was recommended to me by a lady I got to chatting to whilst queuing for the Jodi Picoult The Storyteller book signing in Nottingham.

I’d started with this one first as I’d recently seen the trailer for the ITV dramatisation and thought I’d be able to compare them quite closely together.

Told in turn by both Serena and Poppy, both teenage school girls, this book highlights the issues of physical and emotional abuse, domestic violence, obsession and the predatory nature of abusers. The cover implies light and fluffy chick lit but it isn’t, it’s much darker and sinister.

The story is set over 2 time periods, the late ’80s and then 20 years later and because of this the timeline would switch without notice, sometimes it would be highlighted by date, other times it would just switch from page to page but it’s quite easy to follow after a few pages but I was hooked from the first chapter anyway.

Quite a bit of the legal stuff is swept under the carpet as I’m sure they’d have had an excellent case for self defence rather than murder. But this is more about the manipulation and the whodunnit and the ‘who really did it’ keeps you guessing until the end, I did suspect in the final couple of chapters who the culprit was and then dismissed it, only to be right. Without trying to give the ending away as a reader all loose ends are tied up, however for the characters it doesn’t which is a bit sad considering their ordeal.

So far, I’ve only watched the first episode of the ITV drama but compared to the book Serena has lost a child & a sister, she doesn’t hide the knives and Poppy’s physical appearance is considerably different. We’ll have to wait and see how the other two episodes fair and if the plot will remain the same as the book.

I really enjoyed this book and you will too if you’re a fan of Koomson or like psychological thrillers 🙂

Available from Amazon as Kindle or paperback version THE ICE CREAM GIRLS BY KOOMSON, DOROTHY