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Please don't promote book giveaways here. If you'd like to discuss book giveaways on Mumsnet, contactus@mumsnet.com

Book giveaway: The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

(25 Posts)
TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 10-Nov-14 11:38:02

We've got 50 copies of the new novel by author, playwright and Corrie scriptwriter Jonathan Harvey to give away this week.

The Girl Who Just Appeared cuts effortlessly between present day London and Liverpool 1981 as it follows the story of Holly Smith as she uncovers her hidden past, and Darren as he navigates a moral dilemma that will have consequences for the rest of his life.

Click here to find out more and apply for your free copy.

Don't forget, if you're lucky enough to receive a copy, we do expect you to write a review or tell us what you thought about it on the thread below.

frazzledbutcalm Mon 10-Nov-14 20:13:11

Have applied, fingers crossed.

GetHappy Mon 10-Nov-14 21:59:56

love this man .. i loved All She Wants and The Confusion of Karen Carpenter! plus Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie is an all time classic!! He's even replied to a few of my tweets!! such a funny man!!

TinaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Nov-14 17:14:48

This giveaway is now closed, thanks to everyone who applied, we'll be in touch with the winners shortly.

GetHappy Mon 24-Nov-14 19:51:05

Thank you soooo much for my book xx

ImperialBlether Mon 24-Nov-14 20:03:45

Oh no, I hoped to get this! 1981 was the year I came to Liverpool.

Truestoryxx Mon 24-Nov-14 20:53:14

Thanks for the book. Read it in several sittings throughout today - will post a review.

GetHappy Sat 06-Dec-14 10:48:27

getting through this book not as fast as i would like but due to the time of ywar commitments my only time to read is my commute. enjoying it so far will post my review once fully completed ... i would highly recommend so far!!

jetSTAR Sat 13-Dec-14 08:32:55

Thank you for my book. Just about to start reading it and will post a reviewfsmile

fortheloveofgodgivemeaminute Sat 13-Dec-14 21:48:49

Was a lucky recipient of one of the free copies, courtesy of Mumsnet. As agreed, here's my review. Thought initially it was going to be a stereotypical finding yourself novel, but glad it wasn't! Holly as a main character was engaging, but the stand out for me was the flash back journal entries from the mysterious Darren; I could have read an entire novel from his perspective . Some parts strained the narrative arc- Iggy, anyone?!- but overall, engaging and enjoyable.

ricecakeaddict Mon 15-Dec-14 11:33:17

I enjoyed this book - I thought the first 100 pages or so were particularly good as I really liked the writing style and agree it was very engaging. I actually enjoyed Darren less, just because I felt his story came in too late so I was already very invested in the present day story and in Holly!

DanielMummy Wed 31-Dec-14 23:02:37

Thank you. I enjoyed this book and will get my review blogged soon. I agree with the previous post that I was well into Holly's story before we started reading the diary entries from Darren, so preferred reading present day.

JessicaChristmas Wed 31-Dec-14 23:08:42

"But perhaps most telling of all, he also won the Spacehopper Championships at Butlins Pwhelli in 1976."

Fabulous way to end a review! And successful at applying or not, this book will be enjoyed by me :-)

smella Mon 05-Jan-15 21:44:22

I ended up enjoying this much more than I expected to. There's a wicked twist at the end. ;)

pennwood Mon 09-Mar-15 12:19:44

The Girl Who Just Appeared - I found it a very easy to read book, in a pleasant style. It had just sufficient intrigue to keep me guessing. Holly's employer sounded just like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada, so of course I hated her from the start, & wanted holly to stand up to her. It had a good twist to the ending, so I would recommend the book as a good read.

jetSTAR Mon 09-Mar-15 13:06:52

I posted this review in the book review section back in December...

"I have not read any of Jonathan Harvey's books before and I really enjoyed this one. It is quite different from what I usually read. I read it quickly (in the space of a few days) because I wanted to find out what happened to the characters. It is written in the past and present and contains mysteries that become clearer as the book progresses. I like it when I read a book that surprises me and this one did in terms of a sudden realisation towards the end of the story."

queenoftheschoolrun Mon 09-Mar-15 13:20:09

I'm a bit unsure about this book. Holly's story was verging on chick lit but Darren's story, especially the diary entries, made for compelling reading. Just the overall format didn't really work for me.

redalertalpha Mon 09-Mar-15 15:23:42

I picked this book up and struggled first time around to get in to the flow of the stories I do want to persevere with it though and read the book through so I can review it properly so will be doing that after my current read

Mick15 Mon 09-Mar-15 19:27:55

A great life story style book with a good twist. I really enjoyed the concept of returning to the flat where she was born and I like the 'then' and 'now' dynamic. Could have done with a bit more on the past but generally a good, meaty emotional roller coaster of a book. Well worth reading.

Hammondisback Mon 09-Mar-15 20:33:30

I loved this book! Found it poignant and emotive, but with lovely comic touches. The characters were well-written and I enjoyed the twist. A really good read.

musicmaiden Mon 09-Mar-15 20:48:29

Thanks for the book and the nudge to post my thoughts! I am fully in agreement with queenoftheschoolrun - I am not sure the book worked in terms of the different timelines. Holly's story just a a bit chicklit standard. Darren's bits were excellent, but came very late. The twist was good but overall I was a bit disappointed.

Dowsettxxx Tue 10-Mar-15 07:49:16

I must admit I forgot to write the review as I had given up on this book. I enjoyed reading it at first, Holly's story is well written and was easy to get into. However as soon as I got to reading Darren's story I gave up trying to read his account with a colloquial accent. It might add to the authenticity but I find any books written with an accent very tedious.

lovelychops Sun 15-Mar-15 21:17:34

Enjoyed this book and found it really easy to read. Agree with others who have said the beginning started off as very chick lit so glad it took a 'darker' turn. I think Holly's bits were quite 'soapy' but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Though I much preferred Darren's story. In someways I think the whole thing was a bit too easy but I did like the twist.
I live in liverpool so really enjoyed references to the riots and imagining it all - but wonder how that works for a reader unfamiliar with the city.
Not sure why so much time given to the character of Syilvie but generally an easy read.

Hobbes8 Mon 16-Mar-15 16:24:16

I found this book a bit 'meh' really. I found Darren's story better than Holly's, but if the book had been written by a woman it would definitely be considered chick lit. Lightweight and with unbelievable characters. It would be ok for a beach read or a train journey I suppose.

Valski Tue 05-May-15 22:40:12

The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

Oh, what an unexpected treasure this novel turned out to be, especially given that the initial 100 or so pages had severely dampened my expectations! Given that my usual reading matter is police procedurals and emotional family sagas I was excited to receive this book and had high hopes for it. Something humorous but not the usual chick-lit fodder. The premise intrigued me and piqued my interest and I have heard much praise for the comedy and charm that previous Jonathan Harvey novels have garnered and this was a book which I had to see to the end.

After the first 100 or so pages my heart sank. This is the story of Holly, a thirty something woman who was adopted as a child and never felt she completely fitted in with her home life and surroundings. Never quite fitting in with this lifestyle or at ease with her much older adoptive parents. Holly explains her emotions, causing her to always feel like girl who just appeared - with no history and living with people who she struggled to relate to and hence her desire to track down her birth mother to answer some of her unresolved questions. Initially I was put off by how ungrateful she seemed to be towards her adoptive parents, Ted and Jean. Encountering caricature, stereotypical characters who seemed to fill her life along the way (specifically the women from the church, her overly demanding boss, the wet rag boyfriend), I thought the jokes verged on lame and my interest wavered. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this would be a contrived female audience based time filler.. Oh no, I thought... This doesn't bode well...

Following the death of both of her adoptive parents and fed up with the status quo of her current life in London, Holly decides to throw caution to the wind and on hearing that the very flat she was born in, 32B Gambier Terrace, Liverpool, is up for rental, she upheaves her whole world and goes in search of her birth mother and a sense of identity taking the plunge to venture north.. And this is where, for me, the story picked up. Under the floorboards Holly discovers an old biscuit tin containing fragments of a diary written by a 15 year old boy... Could this perhaps help her discover the truth? From here on in the story picked up and for me it became an absolute joy - a fast paced, well written, feel good book, with a plot which kept me hooked right until the conclusion. For a book which ventures onto a serious topic which some authors might hesitate to tackle, Harvey manages to take a humorous approach and has succeeded in making some emotional and poignant thoughts. You could not accuse him of taking a heavy hand to the subject matter or treating it insensitively.

Accept this novel for what it is, a cast of comedy characters, situations which can often border on the farcical, and just lose yourself in discovering the unravelling of this mystery. The last two thirds of the book are an absolute romp and will bring a smile to even the most hard hearted reader. Whilst I did spot what was coming a few chapters from the end, the frequent turning of events along the way kept me thoroughly engaged and entertained. A definite 4 star from me! Indulge, grab a bottle of wine and prepare for an absolute blast!

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