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The Girl Who Just Appeared [Paperback]

Jonathan Harvey
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,707 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

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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3 of 4 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.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting read, thought provoking. 1 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback
This book wasn't anything like I thought it would be. It was very different from what I normally read but I enjoyed it so much, well, enjoy is probably not the right word as there was a lot of difficult situations to read about, which stayed with me for a while after, but that's not to say I didn't think it was an interesting read or that I didn't like it, because I did. I like the fact a man is writing from a woman's point of view, it gives it a breath of fresh air. I'm now going to get the two previous books Jonathan wrote as I think he's a brilliant writer.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight. 1 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book I have read by Jonathan Harvey and came about it quite unexpectedly. I was mesmerized by it and
I simply couldn't put it down. Beautifully written. I shall now go and seek out any other little gems this genious has bound onto book form. Superb. This book is highly recommend. Finally finally finally. The great is back in Great British writing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 28 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh dear, I really didn't like this. I hated the long diary chapters written in a colloquial accent. I didn't believe in or care about the characters. I just thought it was silly, which is surprising given the serious themes involved. There were a few funny moments, particularly involving the mad singer Sylvie and the dog Michael.
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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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1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly tedious trash 14 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback
This is one of the worst books ever written. It is brimming with an irritating chic- lit tone that just irritated me greatly and the whole book is full of unfunny attempts at humour. There is no interesting narrative style and I became very very very bored with it after just several chapters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read
I bought this book on my kindle by accident but decided to read it anyway. I am so glad I did!
I couldn't put it down and ended up crying by the end of it! Read more
Published 1 day ago by susan downing
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A very entertaining and well developed story.
Published 3 days ago by geoff
4.0 out of 5 stars most enjoyable
Really enjoyed this, a real can't put downable read. Real characters who you get close to and are genuinely interested on how things turn out for them. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Tracey Fitzgerald
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
A Good Read
Published 12 days ago by I DUNSMUIR
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book kept me very happy on a fabulous holiday!
Published 12 days ago by Jacqui Hesketh
1.0 out of 5 stars ... this book and it was nothing but a grave disappointment. I felt it...
I was so looking forward to reading this book and it was nothing but a grave disappointment. I felt it ill-written, cliche ridden and its story line ludicrous in the extreme. Read more
Published 12 days ago by B Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I read this after hearing an interview with Jonathan Harvey on Radio 2, and I'm so glad I did, brilliant from start to finish. Eagerly awaiting his next book.
Published 17 days ago by Mrs C Jeynes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very unusual story couldn't put it down ordered another by same author
Published 19 days ago by dottielottie
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book with lots of twists and turns
Wow. A fantastic book with lots of twists and turns. A real page turner!
Published 22 days ago by frances fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous!
Another fab buke by This author. Another original story. I can't wait for his next one. Now at least I can get some sleep. Unputdownable.
Published 23 days ago by Dawn
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