My enormous thanks to Jaime Frost at Harper Collins for a copy of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington in return for an honest review. I so loved Carmel Harrington’s The Things I should Have Told You and her guest post that you can read here, that I jumped at the chance to read The Woman at 72 Derry Lane despite another 900+ books in the queue!
Already available in e-book and audio, the paperback version of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is published on 16th November 2017 by Harper Collins and is available for purchase through the links here.
The Woman at 72 Derry Lane
On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.
But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.
Has help been next door without them realising it?
My Review of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane
Stella’s abusive husband Matt wants the impossible – a ‘perfect’ wife according to his definition of perfection – but life isn’t always perfect.
Well, well, well. Carmel Harrington has done it again. I adored every syllable of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane from the surprisingly violent opening to the final, utterly satisfying, word.
What makes Carmel Harrington’s writing so fabulous for me is her ability to involve the reader completely in the story. Before I was half way through I realised I had experienced so many emotions I was wrung out. I’d felt fear, humour, happiness, love and grief as acutely as if they were happening to me, let alone Stella, Skye and Rea.
There’s an irony in reading The Woman at 72 Derry Lane, because although it is ultimately a wonderful, life affirming read it actually made me dissatisfied with my life. I want to live in Derry Lane with Rea as my neighbour and I want Charlie as my hairdresser and Stella as my friend. The characters Carmel Harrington creates are so vivid, so real and so human that it’s impossible not to view them as real people. I felt as involved in their lives as if I were reading about my own experiences.
There are so many glorious layers to this story too, so that although love is very firmly at the heart of what Carmel Harrington writes, she isn’t afraid to tackle issues that might affect any one of us or someone we know. I thought Rea’s agoraphobia and Stella’s compliance in an abusive relationship were perfectly presented and so sensitively handled so that I understood them fully and empathised completely. I adored the way the threads of the story were woven together and as I don’t want to spoil the plot, I’ll just say the historical event was written fabulously with just the right level of detail.
Carmel Harrington is one of the best writers of emotionally involving narratives around and The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is her writing at her most outstanding. I absolutely adored this book.
About Carmel Harrington
Carmel Harrington is the bestselling author of The Life You Left and Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, voted Romantic eBook of the Year 2013.
Carmel lives with her husband Roger and children Amelia and Nate in a small coastal village in Wexford. She credits the idyllic setting as a constant source of inspiration to her. Carmel has the nickname, ‘Queen of Emotional Writing’.
Carmel writes emotional family dramas that share one common theme – strong characters who find themselves in extraordinary situations. She loves to dig deep and see how they cope, as they grapple with life-changing moments.
She is a regular on Irish TV and radio. Carmel is also a popular motivational keynote speaker, at events in Ireland, UK and US.