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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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

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Review by Suze

Amanda and Tess don't like each other very much. They share the same house, but Amanda would love to get rid of Tess, who's an unwelcome tenant she and her husband Richard can't evict. Amanda and Tess have something in common though, they're both lonely. Tess's heart was broken a long time ago and she hasn't been able to let anyone come close ever since. Amanda's marriage is loveless and cold, her so called friends don't really care about her and her children aren't that nice to her either. Wouldn't it be beneficial for Tess and Amanda to get to know each other?

Amanda and Tess are both stubborn and taking the first step towards reconciliation isn't an easy thing to do. Fortunately they get help from a cheeky cat and Amanda's worried daughter. Slowly a connection is being formed, but will they be able to actually like each other after many years of animosity and what will change in both of their lives when Amanda and Tess start to let people in again?

The Girl I Used to Know is a fantastic original story. Tess and Amanda are completely different people and it was fun to see their interactions. At first they're hostile. While they shared the same house for many years they never tried to find out anything about one another, they just existed in the same place without the effort of getting to know each other. However, situations can change and when they do in this story things become incredibly interesting. Tess has a fantastic way of expressing herself and her comments often made me laugh. Amanda has a lot more to offer than she's showing people and I was curious to find out more about the person she was behind the superficial facade she's given herself to please her husband. I was intrigued from the start because of the dynamics between the main characters, the hostility, the hope and promise the situation offers and the large number of possible outcomes of the story. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out where it would lead.

Faith Hogan has a wonderful warm writing style. Her stories are filled with surprises, she doesn't make it easy for her main characters and she knows how to effortlessly explain complex emotional situations. She skillfully writes about feelings and I love how she always knows the exact right thing to say. The Girl I Used to Know is a story about betrayal, friendship, love and choosing to live. It's a fantastic inspiring story. I was entertained, charmed and compelled and I highly recommend this beautiful book.


If you love amazing stories about friendship and complex relationships you should definitely read 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.



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

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


  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.

  2. So cute that a cat is involved! Would love to win this book for my Mum, who reads a lot.

  3. This is a new author for me so thank you for your honest review!

  4. Great review. I love the sound of this book.

  5. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance x

  6. I'm presently reading Secrets We Keep, I love the story. Faith Hogan is a great author. I can't wait to read The Girl I Used To Know.

  7. This sounds like an inspiring book, a good read no doubt. Thanks for a great review, it's always good to get to know a new author. :-)

  8. Sounds like a great story I'll add to my TBR list! And check out other books by this author as I love characters with complexity.

  9. What led you to the writing career?

  10. I read such a wide range of genres that I can usually know I'll enjoy a book if i read a little of the first bit. yours looks fab from what i can see xx

  11. This sound like a great book and I love the cover!

  12. I look forward to 'reading a new to me' author.

  13. Wonderful review! Sounds like a must read!

  14. Keep hearing about this book so I'd love to win a signed copy :-)

  15. The cover is so inviting. Looking forward to reading this.

  16. Faith, your books look so interesting.

  17. Love the blurb! I'm so excited to read it.

  18. I thought the book title was a really good choice, it already has me asking questions.

  19. Amanda & Tess sound like interesting characters. Would love to read their story.