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Friday, 17 June 2016

That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend's Girl, an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family. ‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.
‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’
‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says.
Not me,’ I reply silently.

Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay...

Title:        That Girl from Nowhere
Author:    Dorothy Koomson
Published By: Cornerstone Digital
Date:        April 9th 2015
Link:        UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

I am a huge fan of Dorothy's ever since I found a copy of The Chocolate Run in a Spanish apartment we were staying in one year. After reading that I read her whole back catalogue and then bought everything she wrote and loved them all. However in the year since I've been blogging I've been inundated with so many other fabulous books and so when I met Dorothy at Isabelle Broom's book launch I was determined to catch up and she very kindly signed my copy for me. The book covers are always beautiful and intriguing.

One of the main things to say about Dorothy's books is that they deal with issues head on and I think that's what makes them so real and heart wrenching.
That Girl from Nowhere deals with the painful issue of adoption, Clemency Smittson has always known she was adopted and although she has had a happy childhood and was very much loved and wanted by her adopted parents she still was actually made to feel inferior and as if she didn't belong by other people including some family members.

I had always assumed that adoption would bring complications into a person's life but poor Clem did not deserve what she had to go through. Even meeting up with the biological parents caused such a lot of grief for her in that she felt guilty for meeting them incase it upset her mum but she also felt guilty for reminding her biological parents that she was responsible for causing problems in their lives. My heart broke for Clemency as she always had to be the bigger person in every aspect of her life and the feeling of being the girl from nowhere wasn't helped by meeting the biological family because they already had their roles within the family. One of the most heartbreaking scenes for me  was when her biological mother explained that she hadn't gone to University in the end and the room went quiet as everyone realised the reason why was because she got pregnant and then Clemency felt awkward, how absurd that she should feel awkward for being born!

I was horrified and angry for Clemency when her grandmother asked her to help her to do something as to me that just showed that she wanted to use her without any regard to how she might feel and the repercussions that would follow.
This story explored emotional blackmail, racism, family loyalty, pain and heartbreak. The adoption aspects were handled very sensitively and really made me feel empathy for everyone involved in this sort of situation. I feel that Clemency was actually a very strong character although she probably doesn't realise just how strong she is.

Another fabulous deep and meaningful book from Dorothy, interesting, heartbreaking and full of substance. I now need to catch up on the latest book When I Was Invisible.

About the Author

I wrote my first (unpublished) novel when I was 13 - and I've been making up stories ever since.

After finishing my masters degree, I had several temping jobs before getting my big break in journalism working on small newspaper. In the evenings I continued to write fiction and in 2001 I had the idea for The Cupid Effect. Two years later it hit the shelves and my career as a published novelist began.

In 2006 my third novel, My Best Friend's Girl, was published and was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club - going on to sell over 500,000 copies. To date I've written six bestseller list books, and they have been translated into 28 languages across the world.

I live near Brighton and am currently working on another book and a screenplay. Find out more info at

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