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13 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars glumps
What a wonderful story, I have just finished reading this book. I found the story of these two girls fascinating and I couldn't put the book down and cried a lot as well. Immediately, you get into the story and become involved with the lives of all the characters. Rosie Thomas is a wonderful story teller, I shall certainly be reading more of her books in the future...
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by Cooking Girl

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars definitely an early work - not a patch on where she is now!
Having much enjoyed some of Rosie Thomas's more recent books, notably The Kashmir Shawl and Iris and Ruby, I thought I would try this earlier work. Well, it's a readable book, with a fairly interesting storyline (though I have to say I did not really like either of the two main characters). But I think this book is interesting mainly to see how a writer progresses with...
Published 3 months ago by tangerina


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars glumps, 10 Jun 2011
This review is from: Bad Girls Good Women (Paperback)
What a wonderful story, I have just finished reading this book. I found the story of these two girls fascinating and I couldn't put the book down and cried a lot as well. Immediately, you get into the story and become involved with the lives of all the characters. Rosie Thomas is a wonderful story teller, I shall certainly be reading more of her books in the future. This is a "must read" book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was enjoying it so much I didn't want to finish it!, 21 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Bad Girls, Good Women (Paperback)
I loved this book! I was enjoying it so much I didn't want to finish it, but I couldn't put it down either! All the characters in this book are real,colourful and likeable! Everyone will relate to this book in some way. It is a story of love and friendship, and the happiness and heartache of growing up and coming to terms with yourself, even if you don't always like what you are! A really good book to escape into!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner!!, 20 July 2012
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This review is from: Bad Girls Good Women (Paperback)
I love, love, love this book! I got torn into the story from the very first page and I just wanted it to go on and on. The characters are very realistic and likeable; and once again Rosie Thomas proves to be a wonderful storyteller...reading her books just feels like being there and then. I'd recommend this book anytime!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars definitely an early work - not a patch on where she is now!, 29 April 2014
Having much enjoyed some of Rosie Thomas's more recent books, notably The Kashmir Shawl and Iris and Ruby, I thought I would try this earlier work. Well, it's a readable book, with a fairly interesting storyline (though I have to say I did not really like either of the two main characters). But I think this book is interesting mainly to see how a writer progresses with experience. Thomas's recent books are brilliant evocations of atmosphere, with absorbing descriptions of another place or another time which are as delightful as the actual narrative.In contrast, this book seems laboured, banal and above all overwritten - it would benefit greatly from being cut down to two thirds of its length, with the long passages making explicit every detail of a character's feelings and ideas being chopped. Thomas has definitely honed her skill greatly over the years, and a comparison of this with her later works would be an excellent exercise for a creative writing class. In a novel, we do not need to be told every detail; sometimes less is more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosie Thomas at her best, 23 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Bad Girls Good Women (Paperback)
I am reading this book as we speak, as usual Rosie Thomas never fails and I am hooked on the story which sometimes makes me late settling down in bed at night. Highly recommended to everyone!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Warm, Undemanding and Involving Read, 30 Dec 2012
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Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bad Girls Good Women (Paperback)
Set mostly in England and, later in the story, in Italy, 'Bad Girls, Good Women' begins during a New Year's Eve party at the end of 1959, when a dramatic fire rampages through an old country house, which has quite devastating consequences - not just for the main protagonist of the story, Julia, but for many of those close to her. The story then moves back in time a few years, when a sixteen-year-old Julia and her friend, Mattie, run away to London, when Mattie can no longer bear her drunken father's sexual advances. After sleeping in an alleyway in Soho when their money runs out, Julia and Mattie meet and are befriended by Felix, a young, gay art student and his ailing alcoholic mother, Jessie. Julia and Mattie move in to Jessie's and Felix's rather cramped flat, and it is here that they all rub along together enjoying a hectic life, during which time Mattie dreams of becoming an actress, and the beautiful Julia learns from Felix how to dress stylishly, before falling in love with, and having her heart broken by, the very attractive American aviator, Josh.

Julia then meets the quiet and reliable (Sir) Alexander Bliss, whose family seat is Ladyhill, a beautiful, old mansion with mullioned windows, oak panelled walls and a long gallery. When Alexander proposes marriage, Julia, who has become very fond of Alexander, accepts his proposal and, deciding to put her love for Josh behind her, she tries hard to become the loving wife that Alexander deserves. However, when in the early hours of New Year's Day 1960, Ladyhill is severely damaged by a fire, caused by Julia's insistence on real candles for their Christmas tree, and one of her old friends dies in the flames, Julia finds it impossible to put the tragic event behind her. Whilst Alexander throws himself into the restoration of Ladyhill and Julia gives birth to their daughter, Lily, she struggles to settle down to life as lady of the manor, and when a letter arrives from her old lover, Josh, she begins to wonder whether she can face the rest of her life as Alexander's wife. But will Julia risk everything she has and her daughter's happiness to be with Josh - even though he has made it clear that he is not the settling-down type? Mattie meanwhile, in her attempts to become an actress, works as a stagehand and then a stripper, as she strives to attain her dream - but when stardom finally comes within her grasp, is it really all that Mattie thought it would be? And when Mattie does something that Julia feels is a betrayal, is Julia able to look past this and continue their close and loving friendship? (No spoilers - we learn most of this early in the story and this novel has almost 800 pages, so there is a huge amount more to discover).

Moving over three decades, this engaging story is the tale of Julia's and Mattie's lives, of their families, their friends, their loves, hopes, disappointments and dreams. Rosie Thomas creates characters you find yourself caring about and she sets her scenes well; her descriptions of the characters' surroundings, of the interior design shop, 'Garlic and Sapphires', which Julia opens in London, and the enchanting, secret walled garden that she restores when in Italy, were very enjoyable to read. My sister gave me this novel for Christmas and, although I was not planning on reading it immediately, a nasty virus had me flat out on the sofa for a few days and this book was the ideal companion for me while I recovered. This is not a great literary novel - and not meant to be one - not all of the situations portrayed are wholly convincing, some of the language is maybe a little cliched, and you most probably won't be up until the early hours frantically turning pages, but it is a warm, engaging and involving read and ideal for those times when you want something enjoyable and undemanding - so it's a good choice for holidays, downtimes, bedtimes, and especially for recuperating on the sofa!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 5 July 2014
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A good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 16 May 2014
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Loved the book, glad it had a happy ending, sorry when it did come to the end but an enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 14 May 2014
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A. Cassidy "Anna" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book immensely, the characters were all very likeable and endearing. I loved Mattie and Julia! On the downside there were many typos which was very annoying!!
Without giving any of the plot away I really wish things had gone differently for Mattie. On the whole though I would thoroughly recommend this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time, 10 May 2014
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Moderately boring, overlong, full of printing errors, very sloppily edited. Most certainly not one of Ms. R. Thomas' best work
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Bad Girls Good Women
Bad Girls Good Women by Rosie Thomas (Paperback - 3 July 2003)
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