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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unputdownable ....
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book as I'm not really one for reading such harrowing true life events but I have to say it is the most, heart wrenching, gripping and deeply moving book I have read for a long time, I could hardly put the book down. Kevin Wells and indeed the rest of his family have my complete and utter respect and admiration, the way they...
Published on 3 Oct 2005 by Jellyb

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An honest steaightforward depiction of tragedy
honest straightforward and very real. this is by no means a literary masterpiece but captures Kevin's raw anger and grief acutely
Published on 2 Sep 2012 by Lucy


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unputdownable ...., 3 Oct 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book as I'm not really one for reading such harrowing true life events but I have to say it is the most, heart wrenching, gripping and deeply moving book I have read for a long time, I could hardly put the book down. Kevin Wells and indeed the rest of his family have my complete and utter respect and admiration, the way they have conducted themselves in such a strong and curageous manner can only be admired. Holly and Jessica were obviously very much loved and their deaths were senseless, leaving a family torn apart and a little boy without a sister whom he clearly loved. I really felt for Kevin as the father of a little girl taken so cruelly and his fight for justice, the obstacles he had to overcome and his shear determination were extraordinary. I encourage anyone to read this fantastic and moving story of a piece of our history which shook the whole country and left us all asking, why ?
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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An upsetting but enriching read, 13 April 2005
By 
Stracs "Stracs" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
This book is the most emotionally powerful I have ever read. Written by the father of Holly Wells as a tribute to his daughter, the book tells the inside story of Soham and the devastating effect on all involved. Kevin Wells is a suprisingly good writer and tells the Wells story most eloquently. For the first time you get a real sense of what Holly was like as a person - bubbly, caring, kind, full of life - and the enormous amount of love her family and friends had for her. Kevin describes his daughter very powerfully, and by the end you almost feel like you know her too.
Of course, this makes what happened to Holly and Jessica all the more tragic, and Kevin's story is absolutely heartbreaking. Never before I think has there been such a well written nsight into what it is like to have a daugter abducted and murdered. The agony of waiting for Holly to be found and the trauma when she is comes over very powerfully in this book, and you cannot read it without crying.
The book is also enriching though. It certainly made me realise how important it is to live life for the here and now, and to appreciate those around you. It also taught me much about the way the justice system works, particularly its bias towards the criminal and not the victims. Some of the stories Kevin tells about this are quite shocking, and his frustration in trying to gain justice for Holly are very clear.
This book is so powerful and moving, and gives you enormous admiration for those who suffered from this appalling crime. Howver, I am sure it would help those who are suffering bereavment of any sort, as Kevin is able to describe in the end how the Wells family are slowly rebuilding their lives without Holly and regaining their strength. Through this book they are an inspiration to many, and Kevin has created a wonderful memorial to his daughter. I urge you to read this.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much dignity - so much pain, 12 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Paperback)
The story of the Soham tragedy really hit close to home for me because although I don't have children of my own, my uncle who is a Military Policeman was involved in the search for Holly & Jessica, and at the same time he had a daughter the same age as Holly. And on the day that those two poor girls bodies were discovered, my sister bought her new baby home. It was a heartwrenching time for everyone, and after following the story so closely in the papers and on the news I felt I must read this book.

Kevin Wells is a man with admirable guts and determination - not only to achieve justice for his beautiful daughter Holly but to re-live the unimaginable torture of that time and tell his story to the world. Kevin's book is honest and frank and really tugs at the heartstrings. It details the entire investigation from the day the girls vanished right up until after the trial. He meticulously details the search procedure,the huge police operation and the frustrations of battles with the media, the 'so-called' justice system and the police buerocracy. By the end of this book you cannot help but feel for this brave, brave man and his family. Kevin remains frank and honest throughout the book and I often had to stop reading because the tears became too much! Anyone who wants to know the full true story of Soham should buy this book. Its straight from the fathers mouth and tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Writing this book is the single last thing that Kevin will ever get to do for his daughter; Huntley cruelly denied him the dream of seeing his only daughter graduate, get married, or have children of her own. By writing this book Kevin is doing his darling Holly one final justice - to make sure the world never forgets the beautiful woman his daughter would no doubt have become. In short 'Goodbye, Dearest Holly' is a poingant, loving final act of fatherhood.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars frightening account of what parents are made to endure, 10 Aug 2006
By 
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
This book was lent to me by my daughter. First thoughts were "I can't read that, it would be too upsetting" Well I read it, and yes it is upsetting but not in the way I thought it would be. I now have a distaste for all I read in the media. I knew there was sensationalism to sell papers etc. But the lengths that they will go to is shocking. I cannot describe how much I admire Kevin Wells for writing this book (and I understand now why he had to write it!) When bad things happen to you, you need to reason and try to put things in an order that you can understand and remain sane enought to continue living and to take his family forward. I cannot believe what these families have been through as well as tragically losing their children. The law, the media. the public! it is atrocious! And I am glad people have the opportunity to read the truth and hope it will help the families to move foward.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye dearest Holly, 25 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Paperback)
What a brave and dignified man Kevin Wells is. This book was brilliant to say the least. Although at times I could hardly read it for the tears that had welled in my eyes It truely made me look at life at how fragile it is. To read about this families tradegy and how they had to cope with first their daughter going missing and then the grim discovery of her body along with her friend has humbled me indeed. Kevin Wells writes this book with great dignity and honour and it was a priviledge to be allowed into his life. Not only did this family have to deal with their precious daughters death but they had to do it in the media and public eye and I'm sure you will agree always did so well. Within the pages of the book you are allowed to read how they tried to cope with their own greif and that of others and at times Kevin shows his anger at the unfairness of life and the judicial service and you can't help but feel his anger and sadness. The way in which he wrote about his eldest son Oliver and the way he dealt with brutal murder of his sister shows us just what an extraordinary family they are. The last chapter of the book allows us as readers to catch up with the year in their lives after the trial and although of course Holly is in their thoughts every day their lives have somehow moved on. I can only say to anyone who is considering reading this book then do so it is well written and i am sure it will make you appreciate all the things in life that we all take for granted sometimes. One last thing to say is Thank you to Kevin Wells for writing such a good book and I hope that by doing so he has acheived what he set out to do which was to somehow try and deal with the tragic ending to his Daughters life and put some closure to it.
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to Holly Wells, 4 May 2005
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
I normally avoid books like this, as a parent I thought it would be difficult to read. Kevin Wells is an excellent writer. The book is moving, sad, informative and above all enjoyable. Which seems an odd thing to be when it's about a paedophile and the murder of 2 young girls. Thrust into the limelight unwantedly, Kevin has certainly opened my eyes into the workings of the police. The fact they were not given information that appeared on the tv first or in the papers I find unforgiveable. The fact Huntley and Carr were treated better than the family at times is incredulous. The loss of their beautiful daughter has changed their lives forever, and the way she was taken the cruellest. However, there are uplifting moments here in the fact that her presence is still felt in their home. They must not let that man rob them of their memories of Holly and we now share some of those memories through this book. The Chapmans prefer to keep a very low profile as that is their way of coping. Kevin Wells has chosen to share his diary of events with the world. We are enriched by the experience and he has every right to be proud of his work. The fact that he had difficulty getting it produced because "they may not get a fair trial" even more ludicrous. As he says, the law is most definitely an ass.
May you forever rest in peace Holly and Jessica.
And may some peace come to the Wells and Chapman families.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and beautiful amist such tragedy, 9 Nov 2005
By 
K. Papakyriacou "katpaps" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Paperback)
I started and finished this book in one sitting, I simply couldn't put it down. It is written so honestly that it is intriguing. The way it is written - in diary form - breaks it down nicely too.
I remember when I heard about it all. I was living in London and cried when I didn't even know the two girls. Just the thoughts of sharing this planet with someone as evil as Ian Huntley made me feel physically sick! Reading the story now - especially from the fathers rather than the medias viewpoint, is both harrowing and interesting. Also, living in Cambridgeshire now - It is odd to see places I am familiar with mentioned in the book (Huntingdon, Ely, Addenbrookes etc).
I had little idea of how the family used psychics and how the police were quick to dismiss their claims. Also the fact that their beautiful daughters murder almost became "public property". It is just frustrating reading the parents struggle alongside the business side of the police investigation.
I would recommend this book..... It is hard to read for obvious reasons. But it is written by a dad who loved his daughter. It is honest and beautiful.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just had to write and say.........., 30 Mar 2005
By 
S. Nock "Respighi" (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
........how humbled I felt reading the traumatic account of a situation we can all only hope will never happen to us. I had listened to Kevin Wells on the Simon Mayo show and I was in awe of his strength and determination, as well as his obvious love for Holly and the family. It is beautifully written and at times you can feel the anger, and so many other emotions, come through the pages. There are lighter moments as well and certain incidents that provide some relief from the overwhelming grief that encased this family. It is quite astonishing how so many people became caught up in the most awful of situations and how so many did everything they could at a time of acute adversity for a family torn apart. I wish Kevin and his family well.
John from Bewdley
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enriching read, 25 April 2005
By 
Stracs "Stracs" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Hardcover)
This book is the most emotionally powerful I have ever read. Written by the father of Holly Wells as a tribute to his daughter, the book tells the inside story of Soham and the devastating effect on all involved. Kevin Wells is a suprisingly good writer and tells the Wells story most eloquently. For the first time you get a real sense of what Holly was like as a person - bubbly, caring, kind, full of life - and the enormous amount of love her family and friends had for her. Kevin describes his daughter very powerfully, and by the end you almost feel like you know her too.
Of course, this makes what happened to Holly and Jessica all the more tragic, and Kevin's story is absolutely heartbreaking. Never before I think has there been such a well written nsight into what it is like to have a daugter abducted and murdered. The agony of waiting for Holly to be found and the trauma when she is comes over very powerfully in this book, and you cannot read it without crying.
The book is also enriching though. It certainly made me realise how important it is to live life for the here and now, and to appreciate those around you. It also taught me much about the way the justice system works, particularly its bias towards the criminal and not the victims. Some of the stories Kevin tells about this are quite shocking, and his frustration in trying to gain justice for Holly are very clear.
This book is so powerful and moving, and gives you enormous admiration for those who suffered from this appalling crime. Howver, I am sure it would help those who are suffering bereavment of any sort, as Kevin is able to describe in the end how the Wells family are slowly rebuilding their lives without Holly and regaining their strength. Through this book they are an inspiration to many, and Kevin has created a wonderful memorial to his daughter. I urge you to read this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye dearest Holly, 24 Oct 2005
This review is from: Goodbye, Dearest Holly (Paperback)
I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. It was well written and you could really get a feel for how this poor family must have felt when these two wonderful girls went missing for what must have seemed like an age. I could not put the book down and although at times it was quite harrowing to read it was so well written that you felt you had to go on. It was interesting to read how the families were kept in the dark about certain things and at times angers you at the whole injustice of the legal system that seems to favour the defendant over the prosecution. For parents out there I urge you to read this book and learn how precious life is and how important all the things are in our childrens life that we take for granted every day. I particularly like the last chapter which is a year on from the trial and you get some insight into the families life that has somehow gone on without Holly although she is never far from their thoughts. Kevin Wells seems to capture his and Nicola's (Holly's mum) sadness and anger well, infact in some of the book you get quite angry as well and it is a releif to know that he can vent his anger within the pages of this book. I think he also tackles his son Oliver's feelings very well and I am sure that he will proud of his dad and what the whole family have acheived in what can only be described as an horrendous time in their lives. In writing this book Kevin Wells hoped that he would be able to deal with things better and maybe to have some closure on it and although I know that he will always think of Holly every day of his life I hope that he can acheive what he wanted from writing this book. This is a must read for anyone that is aware of the tragedy that happened in Soham and i think that will be everyone in the country.
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