Friday, December 15, 2017

The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan - Book Review & Giveaway


Review by Anniek

Amanda thinks she has it all. Once upon a time she was an upcoming artist, but she turned her back on her talent when she married Richard. Richard works hard and brings in lots of money. This makes them able to live comfortably in a picture perfect house. Amanda is always busy keeping up appearances with her fake friends, because she doesn't want to be the main subject of their gossip. Her two teenage children know that something isn't right and their behavior is only making the already bad situation worse. Will Amanda ever be able to go back to that stress-free girl she used to be?

Tess has been renting Amanda's basement flat for a long time. She already lived there before they moved in and Richard and Amanda have had it in for her ever since they bought the place. Their bickering slowly turned into ugly fights, which even led to a court hearing. Richard wants nothing more than to throw Tess out of the only place she ever truly called home. Tess has been badly hurt in the past and has been on her own ever since. She keeps everyone at bay with her bad attitude and her hateful words. Tess was a promising singer with a voice that could mesmerize any audience. She lost the pleasure to sing, but will she eventually find it in herself to change the tune of her life?

Amanda knew that Richard was a player when she first met him and she played hard to get. In the beginning they had wonderful years, but Richard has always been very cold towards Amanda. Her marriage changed her and she kept her true feelings to herself, because she didn't want to stir up any unwanted negative attention. I loved to read about how she slowly realises what has become of her. She needs to find herself again and I was rooting for her to succeed.

Tess grew up in a strict household. Her father decided everything and controlled their day-to-day life, soTess was very happy to leave their small town behind. Her sister Nancy went with her to Dublin, but both of them always knew that Nancy would return home someday. Tess never expected that Nancy would take Tess's heart and soul with her, leaving Tess devastated and alone. Tess is such a feisty old lady and her comments made me laugh out loud so many times. She has a strong will and can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. I wished for Tess to find happiness again and I couldn't wait to find out what she would do next.

The Girl I Used to Know is a heart-wrenching gripping story about two women who have lost theirselves due to the circumstances of their lives. The Girl I Used to Know also showed me hope. Everybody can change if they really want or need to. Both Amanda and Tess are so much stronger than they think they are and I loved to read about their individual journeys. I found myself glued to my seat because I wanted to find out so badly where Amanda and Tess would end up. Tess is an older woman and I liked how Faith Hogan shows her readers that age is nothing but a number. Love and happiness can be found at any time and at any age. The Girl I Used to Know is bittersweet, it moved me to tears, but it also put a big smile on my face. Faith Hogan is a new author for me and I can't thank Suze enough for introducing me to her books.

Advice

If you love to read moving stories about love, loss, friendship and making your own choices I highly recommend The Girl I Used to Know.

About Faith Hogan


Like most writers I didn’t take the direct route into publishing, I gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. I have worked in all sorts of jobs, as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. The constant throughout has been a love of books! I have read and written all of my life.

For many years, I wrote scraps of poems, just joined up lines of thought, that conveyed life as I saw it. My ‘everyday poetry’ was written in waiting rooms, on serviettes, left over note books and sometimes stuffed into the back of my wallet! When I began to write longer fiction, the experience was very different, sometimes the thread would come from overheard words or a notion of ‘what if…’ For the novels, I needed quiet, time and a little planning and structure. My first attempt was a ramble of long narrative that brought me along for eighty thousand words and left me feeling incredibly fulfilled. I could do it. I could actually write a novel. Since then, the ambition has been to write a novel that I’m happy with and that is going to appeal to a wide audience – that’s a tightrope order, but with My Husbands Wives, I hope I’ve managed it.

I was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers, the feedback was very positive and complimentary and suddenly, there were possibilities beyond just scribbling a few lines here and a few lines there.

My debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It was published initially in digital format by Aria, (Head of Zeus) in May 2016 and has been a top ten best seller in the US, Canada and Australia. In 2017, it debuted as a top ten best seller in Ireland when it was released in trade paper back.

In February 2017, my new book, ‘Secrets We Keep,’ was released. This is a contemporary story with echoes from the past, it is about secrets and second chances, it is about love old and new and it is about being brave enough to become the people we’ve always wanted to be. It is very much inspired by where I live and for that reason among others I really enjoyed writing it and I’m so excited about bringing it into the hands of readers.

I am currently working on my next novel which is due to be released in December 2017. I live in the west of Ireland with my husband, four children and a very fat cat called Norris.

Links

Website: http://faithhogan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Faith-Hogan-1063828353674397/?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gerhogan

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

22 comments:

  1. The Girl I Used to Know sounds like a beautiful and heartwarming story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would love to win this book for my Mum who reads a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. love th sound of your novels, will keep my eye out for one to read as soon as i've cleared my to read pile!! lol!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read Faith's book Secrets We Keep and I loved it. I can't wait to read The Girl I Used To Know.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love books that have multiple characters like this one. Looking forward to reading The Girl I Used to Know!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you for the chance :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love a book that gives me hope and shows a real life story! Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Book looks great. Merry Christmas

    ReplyDelete
  9. this book looks lovely and would be a great read

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for the advice, sounds like a must read.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds a good easy read book, just my type. Merry xmas

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd like to see where Amanda's & Tess' personal journeys take them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds like an interesting book. I always enjoy stories where there is more than one main character.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This book sounds very interesting and a really good read. I have my fingers and toes crossed

    ReplyDelete