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The Girl Who Just Appeared by [Harvey, Jonathan]
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The Girl Who Just Appeared Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Product Description


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)

Book Description

From the award-winning author of All She Wants and the writer of Coronation Street and Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, comes this comedy with a huge, beating heart.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 918 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (17 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K6KY1QS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,686 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started this book with high hopes and thoroughly enjoyed the first part - as an adopted child I could empathise with Holly's experiences and the desire to find her birth mother. However, once Darren's story was introduced into the narrative, I felt it went downhill, as I didn't enjoy the writing style of the diary and actively looked forward to the end of those sections. The last section of the book was just preposterous. I don't wish to spoil the ending for anyone, but in my opinion it was just downright silly and left me feeling short-changed. I suppose those who have given it 5 stars were prepared to suspend disbelief, but it was a step too far for me.
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By Agi TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 July 2014
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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Format: Paperback
Having read all of the previous reviews which raved about this novel I feel I must be on a different planet to Harvey's usual readership. I wanted to like this book and dragged myself through it right to the end hoping that there would be some redeeming features- but alas not. In my opinion there was not one single character who seemed to be believable: the zany employer, the infantile boyfriend, the extremely abusive mother, neighbours who were psychic and "wannabe" reality TV stars or obscenely overweight and confined to their flat, the seedy "Irish", the orange Air Steward, hippy Iggy, callous adoptive mother....the list just goes on. All of these characters were caricatures and when placed into ludicrous situations and forced to interact with each other the whole plot became utterly ludicrous. I found it impossible to believe in any of these characters and as a result Harvey's weak attempt to address some very serious topics (parenting, child abuse, gender identity) failed miserably. The author does have a sense of humour so I wonder why he does not stick to comedy and slapstick and leave the moral issues, which he handles so badly, to a writer with greater awareness and sensitivity? To create a cast of shallow stereotypes, place them in absurd situations and force them to deal with serious issues, hoping the result is a coherent and insightful novel was never going to succeed. Sadly, a truly terrible mix which insulted the reader's intelligence.
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By Lincs Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Holly Smith doesn't really like her life. She feels as though it's been a non-event, she can't even decide who would play her in a film of her life. Holly was adopted, her parents were older than all the others at the school gates, she didn't have much of a relationship with them.

She doesn't have much of a relationship with her boyfriend Jude either, and her boss is an absolute nightmare. When her adoptive mother dies, Holly does something unexpected. She's kept that scrap of paper with her birth mother's name and address for many years .... she's finally going to do something about it, she's going to discover who she really is.

Boyfriend dumped. Boss slapped, house-share terminated. Holly takes the train to Gambier Terrace, Liverpool, determined that she will, at last, find out who she really is.

When Holly discovers an old tin, full of yellowing papers, the story really starts to begin, and the reader is taken back to 1981 when Liverpool is in the grip of the Toxteth riots.

I really enjoy dual time narrative, as long as they are done well, and Jonathan Harvey has pulled this technique off so well in The Girl Who Just Appeared. The story unfolds and flits between the present day and 1981 seamlessly, engaging the reader in both aspects.

Jonathan Harvey writes with a sharp wit, sometimes smutty humour and great warmth. His affection for his home city of Liverpool shines though, and although I'm not familiar with the streets of that city, he really does manage to bring the place alive.

There are some serious subjects, and some poignant moments in this story, and it would be easy to trivialise these with humour, but instead, Jonathan Harvey manages to avoid this with characters and dialogue that really work so well.

Very different to my usual read, but nonetheless, very enjoyable. Well written, warm and funny.
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