December Girl by Nicola Cassidy, published October 2017 by Bombshell Books.
Goodreads Synopsis: Molly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life, she has faced troubles. As a young woman, her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery. Then in 1896, her baby son is taken from his pram. While Molly searches the streets for little Oliver, the police are called but her baby is gone.
Why does trouble seem to follow Molly? And will she ever find out what happened to her child? December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.
The Book Review
December Girl is Cassidy’s debut novel, and it’s a corker. Well written, with a feisty but lovable female lead, this historical novel tells a sad, and at times quite dark tale, that is an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish. It’s a much more complex read than I was expecting, and what started out as a historical mystery quickly turned into something much more sinister and intense.
I flew through this read quite quickly once I became engrossed in it, but it took a little while to get comfortable with it because the chapters flit from present day, to the past, and later in the story they jump a few years into the future too. I’m usually fine with timelines that aren’t chronological, but in this novel it pulled me out of the story a little. I also found there were certain chapters that lingered on one time period for much longer than others, and where I would have liked more detail and fleshing out of the story towards the end, the chapters were shorter and more succinct.
Real life historical events are given a nod in the novel, and I would love to know how much research Nicola did while writing this book. It felt that it was grounded in historical fact, though I did wonder what it would have been like for women running their own businesses and being in control of their own finances at the time, as I wasn’t sure while reading if that would have been allowed or accepted?
There are some revelations and heart-breaking surprises in this story that I definitely didn’t see coming, and all the while I wished for Molly’s Happy Ever After. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens to her.
Have you read December Girl? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!