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The Girl Who Just Appeared [Paperback]

Jonathan Harvey
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

17 July 2014

London 2014. Holly Smith has never fitted in. Adopted when just a few months old, she's always felt she was someone with no history, the girl who just appeared. All she has is the address of where she was born - 32B Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. By a bizarre twist of fate Holly discovers that the flat is available to rent. She travels north and moves in. When she finds a biscuit tin full of yellowing papers under the floorboards, she wonders if this might hold the secret to her past.

Liverpool 1981. Fifteen-year-old Darren negotiates life with his errant mother and the younger brother he is bringing up. When the Toxteth Riots explode around him Darren finds himself with a moral dilemma that will have consequences for the rest of his life.

Flitting between the present and the past, we discover how Darren and Holly's lives become intertwined. Will Holly uncover the secrets of her past? Or will she always feel like the girl who just appeared?


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (17 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144723846X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447238461
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The Girl Who Just Appeared is a wonderful book - gripping and twisty and tender and touching. (Marian Keyes)

Harvey makes me SCREAM. (Caitlin Moran)

Absolutely delightful. Jonathan Harvey writes with all his heart and all his soul. (Lisa Jewell)

Harvey is a star writer... His third novel is very funny, as one might expect from such a brilliant writer of comedy - but it shows that he can also handle sadness and tragedy, plus a narrative that cuts effortlessly between present-day London and Liverpool in 1981... Sparkling and moving. (The Times)

Wit and warmth. (Sunday Mirror)

Sensitive, moving, yet fabulously entertaining and laced with humour. (Daily Express)

A warm, witty tale about personal history and accepting the truth about your family - however, unexpected it may turn out to be. (Heat)

From the Back Cover

London - the present

Holly Smith has never fitted in. Adopted when just a few months old, she's always felt she was someone with no history. All she has is the address of where she was born - 32B Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. When Holly discovers that the flat is available to rent, she travels north and moves in. And in the very same flat, under the floorboards, she finds a biscuit tin full of yellowing papers. Could these papers be the key to her past?

Liverpool - 1981

Fifteen-year-old Darren is negotiating life with his errant mother and the younger brother he is raising. When the Toxteth Riots explode around him, Darren finds himself with a moral dilemma that will have consequences for the rest of his life.

Moving between the past and the present, Darren and Holly's lives become intertwined. Will finding Darren give Holly the answers she craves? Or will she always feel like the girl who just appeared?

Praise for Jonathan Harvey

'I knew Jonathan Harvey could make me laugh. I didn't expect him to make me cry too' Jojo Moyes


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
After her adoptive parents die, Holly decides to search for her birth mother. All she knows is the name, and address that were featured on her birth certificate.

When the flat that she was born in becomes available to rent, Holly drops everything in London to move to Liverpool, in the hope she can do some digging and find her birth mum.

Within a couple of days in Liverpool, she finds Darren's diary.

The book then switches between the diary set in Liverpool in the 80's, written by a very uneducated young boy (if you like correct spelling and punctuation, beware there isn't any in the diary sections), and present day with Holly search.

The plot moves at a fast pace and it was a good story, that although I had pre-thought ideas after reading the blurb, this broke all of them and surprised me constantly.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I listened to Jonathan Harvey being interviewed on Radio Two by John Bishop, it was a brilliant interview and made me want to find out more about the book. As an adoptee myself I am always interested in how the subject is handled in fiction. Jonathan had clearly done his research about the feelings of those involved in the adoption triad and it is written very sensitively. The story develops slowly and imaginatively always making me want to turn the next page or read one more chapter to find out what happens. Witty, sensitive, heartbreaking at times.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute jackpot 28 July 2014
By Agi
Format:Paperback
I have lately read an interview with an author, I think it was Jodi Picoult who said that the most important thing in the book is the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page of the story, that it must be like a tornado that carry away the reader. Well, it was absolutely the case with The Girl who Just Appeared. I have read the first sentence and couldn't wait for the next, and next, and next, it had me hooked from the get - go and kept my attention and interest through the whole book.

I have smiled at the first sentence already and kept smiling or laughing out loud through the whole book, but also have dropped a few tears. This is a bitter - sweet book, sad - funny book and a wonderful read. Poignant and touching.

Holly has just buried her mother and with her father already gone and no siblings she's now alone. As she knows she was adopted, she decides to start searching for her biological mother. She has some information, her name and address where she was born, and totally unexpectedly she finds herself renting THE flat. Flat when she was born. It means she must move from London to Liverpool, leaving her job as a PA to a very moody and mean diva. In the flat Holly discovers a diary which belonged to a teenager Darren. He describes his life in this flat, his family: mother who was a prostitute and younger brother. After reading the whole diary, Holly decides that she's Darren sister. Through her new landlady Rose, who knows her biological mother, she get to know her as well and only learn that she's at care home with Alzheimer and so is of no help. But is this the whole true? Did Holly really find her family?

Of course while reading I was guessing, and you will be too, for sure, whirring your mind trying to string the facts together.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just alright 15 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nicely written and the plot is good but the characters are not so believable. It also touched on weighty subjects:-transgender, prostitution and didn't get into the psyche of it sufficiently for me to find it believable. Still, I made it to the end although not really caring about the characters that much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 1 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
quite enjoyable but not one you can,t put down easey reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! 16 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book came highly recommended by a friend and I'm not disappointed. I love books that take you one a journey. I shall be reading more of Jonathan Harvey's book from now on.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dripping with love and humanity and humour 22 July 2014
Format:Paperback
Oh Jonathan! He will brighten your life. He reels you in - you think it's going to be some hilarious but vaguely shallow chick lit venture but it's far far from that. It's funny and warm it oozes humanity and charm and heart - he is all heart - and without giving anything away he manages to make you love the characters and root for them all so very much until perhaps your heart might break for each one of them. Jonathan Harvey is a great writer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars third Book, third brill read 19 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow! I have read the first two Jonathan Harvey novels and was excited when I heard he was releasing a third. It didn't disappoint! Had me laughing and crying (again!) and weaves a lovely story full of real well developed characters who you can quickly love/hate and many who you'd want to have a beer with. Brilliant, and awesome book , and from a writer who responds to my twitter messages!
Thoroughly recommended.
Hippychoc x
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
This is an easy light hearted read with a bit of social history snuck in. Really find the main character irritating though.
Published 2 days ago by Kerry Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliantly written. Clever storyline. Lovely to be set in Liverpool. A must read !!!
Published 5 days ago by Sally stretton
5.0 out of 5 stars go get it now
Really good story the ending is very unexpected
Published 7 days ago by fiona b
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely holiday read!
A very sweet story - guaranteed to make you smile, perfect for on holiday :-)
Published 9 days ago by Rebecca Jayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed, cried, loved every bit of it!
This book is brilliant - superbly written and so easy to read and enjoy. I couldn't put it down! Thought I had it all worked out and then it took off in another direction. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Sioban Simcock
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised.
I picked this book up as part of an offer as I chose two other books and didn't know what else to read. Read more
Published 14 days ago by mikayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read, specialy for a scouser
Published 15 days ago by roy balmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This has to be my favorite of Jonathan Harvey's three books. I just loved it.
Published 16 days ago by WitchReader
5.0 out of 5 stars original and laugh out loud funny. The perfect holiday read
Moving, original and laugh out loud funny. The perfect holiday read.
Published 16 days ago by Jennifer Heelham
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