The last book I reviewed by Dorothy Koomson was ‘The Flavours of Love‘. I enjoyed it but felt that the format was very similar to several of her other recent books. This, I felt, detracted from my enjoyment and made the book slightly predictable. I wasn’t sure if I would rush to read any of her other offerings.
That said, I found her most recent book on the shelf of my library so I must have had a change of heart at some point, I just don’t remember when!
‘That Girl From Nowhere‘ is a return to the glory days for Koomson as far as I’m concerned. The plot was engaging and her characters imperfect but likeable. You found yourself liking them in spite, perhaps because of, their flaws.
The plot is about Clemency. Clemency is black but has been adopted by white parents. She knows nothing of her birth parents and all she has of them is the butterfly box that she was given away in. This book tackles multi-racial issues in an elegant but unforgiving way. Koomson faces the topics of inadvertent and blatant racism in society and the impact that this can have on people.
I’m not sure if the book needed to be as long as it was and in some places it felt like it dragged a bit, that said it was an enjoyable read. I didn’t guess all of the twists right away which I liked. I did find myself getting irritated with Clemency in places for not being stronger and standing up to her family. She seemed to be living her life for other people and not getting the fresh start she wanted. I wanted to give her a good talking to!
I felt the end of the ‘grandmother’ storyline was a bit contrived and not completely believable. It wasn’t enough to offend me though.
I did want the ‘Tyler’ storyline to end in a gritter, more realistic way. The way it finished also felt contrived, like everything had to end with a neat little bow. It felt rushed, like the author had one more loose end and wanted to tie it up in the neatest, fastest way possible. This was my least favourite part of the story.
All in all though, an enjoyable read that I would recommend. It was good that this book had deviated from the format of Koomson’s recent books and kept me guessing in places.