The Girl I Used to Know

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Member Reviews

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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