TV Adaptation Review: The Ice Cream Girls ending

*Contains spoilers…you have been warned*


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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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