The Girl I Used to Know

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Initially, I was not sure if I was going to like this novel. It opened rather droll but when I realized that the author was laying the background information on the characters to be flushed out later, I began to enjoy it.
After all of the character descriptions, the book picks up the pace and the lives of the characters begin to intersect and affect each other. Tess is an older woman living a life based on past hurt and the inability to forgive. Amanda is a wife who has lost the true meaning of self as she molded herself to be what she considered a perfect wife and mother to be. Robyn is Amanda’s daughter who is instrumental in bringing Tess and Amanda together.
There is a considerable amount of accounting for the personal histories of Tess and Amanda which enrich the plot and show where pulled threads began unraveling in their lives.
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This is a charming tale of two women, their friendship, missed opportunities  and new beginnings based around a picturesque Dublin square.

It’s slow to start, but, as the characters become clearer the author moves the storyline  along at a great pace. I also enjoyed the ‘look back’ chapters which help shape the story and engage you more in the women and their history.

It’s a good book to curl up with. An easy read.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Aria fiction for the opportunity to preview this book.
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I loved the flashbacks to the past to see where everything changed for Amanda and Tess. Both characters had a strength and resilience to cope with what life has thrown at them. Even if it takes them time to put the pieces together and move forward. They both have their flaws which made them all the more realistic and I really enjoyed the start of their tentative friendship. There is such a warmth to the story and that is down to the writing of the characters, I couldn't help but root for them. Hoping they would get the happy ending that they deserved.

Faith Hogan has created a wonderful story that will easily draw you in and take hold of you with some emotional and heartfelt moments. There are themes of new beginnings and taking a chance at achieving something better than what you already have. Along with the addition of some lovely minor characters who also bring a lot of love to the story as they become involved in Tess and Amanda's lives. It was so easy to become immersed in this story with it moving at a lovely pace that saw me finishing the book in no time.

The Girl I Used To Know is an emotional, uplifting story that is filled with friendship, family and love. 

With thanks to Melanie at Aria for the invite to join the tour and for my copy via Netgalley. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGalley for my unbiased opinion of the book.  I really enjoyed this book.  It started sluggish and took me to the middle of the book for it to fly. The choices Tess Cuffe and Amanda King make early in life are weighing them down in the second half of their lives.  Also, it affects the living situation they both are in as landlord and tenant.  Due to a series of life circumstances that forces them to reassess their lives and how they choose to move forward by changing your thinking, actions, and how it permeates all other aspects of their lives. It forces them in to funny situations and help make them a powerful finish to this book that doesn't disappoint!
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The Girl I Used to Know by Faith Hogan is an entertaining, and lively read about second chances, taking control of your life, and the power of friendship.  Which is exactly the kind of inspiring and uplifting read that I love to snuggle up with........
(see the full review on after 4 Dec 17)
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This is such a perfect novel .. it has everything! Past and present, angst, secrets, lies, failed relationships and the discovery of new friends. I cannot think when I last read a book which swallowed me up, heart and soul.

The lives of the two main characters are so very different and yet there are similarities: Tess, a gifted young singer who throws it all away for unrequited love and Amanda, who has it all – until she realises she doesn’t have happiness. I love reading about two characters alternatively and this novel also offers the ‘now and then’ perspectives and I’m happy to say I just sank into this book and allowed the story to wash over me.

Faith Hogan writes beautifully; her novels are fast reaching the top of my ‘must read’ list and this one exceeded all expectations. I’m always surprised at how some authors can come up with such different stories for their books and, in my opinion, Faith excels at this. All her novels are worth reading but this one shines brightest. I would not only recommend this as a great read, but also as a wonderful gift.

My thanks to Aria and NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
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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.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.  Strong and sad story of friendship and how this can be overcome.  This is a 5 star review
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The girl I used to know is a book that has warmth and emotion radiating from every page. The story is about two very different women who go through a journey of self-discovery to ultimately find friendship. It is an engrossing read with some well-developed characters who are defined by the lives they have lived and the challenges they have faced. This is the second of Faith Hogan’s books that I have read and a favourite. Her writing is wonderfully fluid in this book. Although this story has a life-affirming plot, it is the depth of the characters that make this an engrossing read.
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Amanda and her husband Richard own a beautiful Georgian town house in Dublin and live on the top 3 floors - the basement is rented out to Tess, who as a sitting tenant they cannot get rid of.  The two women have nothing in common, Amanda in her mid forties appears to be a woman with everything - beautiful house, successful husband, two children - but is everything as it seems are her circle truly her friends and does she just go along with everything that her selfish husband wants. Tess on the other hand is in her mid sixties and all alone.

When Amanda finds out that her husband is cheating on her and Tess ends up in hospital after falling over a cat they start to review their lives.......could they have more in common than they thought and end up being friends?

A lovely heartwarming story, but I am always a sucker for the Irish books, I loved the way the back stories were filled in and the book definitely left you with a warm glow
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A warm, cosy read which will be just the thing you can curl up with and enjoy a cuppa.
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Set in present day Dublin, this story is about Amanda, a middle-aged woman who thought she had everything she ever wanted, apart from Tess Cuff, the elderly sitting tenant in her basement who is the bane of her – well not hers, but her husband’s life.  Both women realise they have lost their identity somewhere along the line. But how do they change things? Is it too late and is there still a way to live the lives they always dreamed of? Or maybe just take a different path?

Amanda is dominated by her selfish, ambitious husband and two spoiled, entitled kids, who at the beginning of the story appear to have no respect for her. Tess is alone, but her life was very different at one time, making her wonder how and when it all went wrong.

Then Tess finds she isn’t as indestructible as she thought, and Amanda discovers her husband is not the perfect spouse she imagined – rebellion is afoot!

The novel is told in the two viewpoints of Tess and Amanda, with flashbacks to the defining points in their two lives and the catalysts that bring them together as individuals with similar regrets.

An inspiring read with some lovely emotions and deep insight into the truth that life is never what we expect it to be, even with all the right ingredients. I loved the growing friendship between these two quite different women which had a very satisfying ending.
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I just adored this read (I love Faith Hogan's books). Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are neighbours who despise each other. Amanda is married to a successful man and is quite the lady who lunches with two teenagers and a beautifully decorated house. The only bugbear is Tess, the neighbour who has lived in the basement like forever and won't leave. 

The story is the sweetest thing - Tess coming out her shell and letting her broken heart be mended and Amanda realising how false her supposed friends are. It's all about new starts, friendships, life and love. Amazing read and one of my favourites this year.
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This is based around a four storey Georgian house in a lovely Dublin square.
The women I meet very soon become part of my “life” as the author makes them 3D almost immediately and you cannot help but feel connected to all of them.

Amanda and Richard King purchase this house but it has a sitting tenant named Tess. They think they can eventually get her to move on. But it’s not the case.

Amanda and Richard being owners occupy the top three storeys with they’re children. 

Amanda seems to have it all, if you were looking on, you would feel that way too. 

Tess who lives in the basement is a lonely lady, but in some ways she’s brought this upon herself, but I did fully understand how and why.
Tess trips over Amanda’s cat one day and ends up at the hospital. 
It’s her wake up call on her health.

Amanda is a 45 year old woman who appears down trodden by Richard her husband.
They have everything. Money, comfortable style and she’s in with a coffee morning with the elite husbands.

A wake up call comes to Amanda one day in the detail of a flavoured condom.

Both women separately start to take stock of their lives. 
Amanda and Tess roads cross at times but in opposite directions.

A cat has a hand in bringing these two women together where they find they have lots in common.

I love how the chapters went back in time so we could see and get a rounded picture on the past.
What was Tess life like when she was younger.
What was her home life like.
Did she have a family.
Why is she alone.
Did or can she ever find happiness.

The chapters had date headings so it was easy to follow.
They were short and crisp so I found myself flipping through this read faster than I thought.

Carlos.......hmmmmmm lush.

It’s a fab “curl up book” that takes the reader on several surprises.

This read was much more than I expected, it was full bodied and had hidden gems.

My thanks to Aria for my copy via Net Galley
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A fantastic book about families, redemption and love set in present-day Dublin but including flashbacks to provide the back story. Good, strong women characters, but most of the men come out of it badly! Inter-generational relationships are a key part of the story as is the idea of snobbery, both class and money related. An important lesson from the book is to hold on to your dreams and not let other people trample and destroy them.
This is a lovely, well-written book and is highly recommended.
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I absolutely loved this engrossing book about two women living in the same house, both at crossroads in their lives.

Tess and Amanda both live in the same four storey Georgian house on a lovely Dublin square with a shared gated garden in the middle for all the residents.  Amanda and her husband Richard own the house and live in the top three storeys with their two children, and Tess is their (unwanted) sitting tenant in the basement flat.

Tess is a 66 year old, strong-willed, single, cranky woman, and Amanda is a bit of a downtrodden 45 year old wife who's just gone along with everything her husband wanted.  But then they both get a bit of a wake-up call, Tess through her health and Amanda through her cheating husband, and things slowly start to change as their outlook on life changes and they start to interact more with each other, helped along by various things, including a cat, Amanda's lovely daughter Robyn, Carlos the handsome gardener, and the lovely Dr. Kilker.

The story flips back and forth between both women to when they were younger, Tess arriving in Dublin from a small rural village and Amanda marrying Richard, and how certain choices got them to the point they're at now.  I really liked the way the chapters were fairly short and were dated, so you knew exactly where in time you were and it never got confusing, just kept your interest  to read 'just one more chapter'.

This was one of those books that I kept thinking about even when I wasn't reading it, because I wanted to know what happened next and what the final outcome would be.  Really lovely, inspiring read reminding you that it's never too late to change what's not right in your life, whatever your age, and change it for the better, making new friends along the way.  Such a really lovely, happy, romantic ending too.  Very highly recommended.
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