Kate Hamer – The Girl in the Red Coat

Beth is a single mother who worries about her daughter Carmel, a girl that teachers say is ‘special’, very bright but a bit on the dreamy side. She’s previously lost her in a maze, something that makes her weary for quite some time. This fear turns into a nightmare when she loses her at a storytelling festival.

The man that approaches Carmel asks her for her full name and says he’s her grandfather. He says her mum was in an accident and brings her to a place where a woman called Dorothy answers the door. So begins an extraordinary tale where we see both the experiences of Carmel and her mother through a dual narrative. Beth is devastated with the disappearance, back on the tobacco and chain-smoking and wondering if she’ll ever get to see her daughter again.

Carmel’s end of the story is the most dramatic as we get to see the new world she’s been led into. I was unsure if she’d ever be reunited with her mother and I feel Kate Hamer has put together an imaginative, pacy thriller with a fascinating young character at the centre of the story.

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