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. Molly searches the streets for 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.
What does TWG think?
I have absolutely no idea how I am going to get my opinion of ‘December Girl’ from my head onto this page, without sounding like a tool. Now, I finished Nicola Cassidy’s novel a couple of days ago, yet it is still setting up camp in my head.
I have to be honest; there were times whilst reading the book where I felt like putting it down and not picking it back up again, due to several situations within the storyline which came out of the blue, leaving me quite speechless and feeling a bit uncomfortable. The storyline was raw and brutally shocking. I didn’t know whether I felt uncomfortable for myself, or whether I was feeling uncomfortable for the fictional character.
Please be aware that my honesty above is in no way nasty, I just felt like I had to be honest and explain how I felt whilst reading the book. I’m sure you can guess by now that I didn’t put the book down and stop reading it – especially seeing as I am writing a review for it!
Despite the earlier feelings of ‘running’, the addictiveness of the storyline meant that I was unable to stop reading the book until I reached the end and had found out what had happened. It was as though the authors words had handcuffed me to the book, the characters and the overall vibe of ‘December Girl’. Yes there were nauseating moments, brutal moments, and severely emotional moments throughout this book, yet without those, I truly don’t think that “December Girl’ would have ended up being as strong as it was. There was always something happening, something shocking to render me speechless or prick my eyes with tears. Molly’s mindset took over every single thing about this book and there were times where I didn’t know whether to sympathise, empathise, or feel slightly annoyed towards her. Put it this way, Molly Thomas certainly isn’t a force to be reckoned with and, despite what that character endured, I am incredibly surprised that she didn’t give up the ghost at the time.
‘December Girl’ took me miles and miles out of my comfort zone, I’m not going to lie. Do I regret reading it? Hell no. Do I wish I had stopped reading it? Hell no!! At the end of the day, my emotions got the better of me which caused my initial reaction at first. I could empathise with Molly. I could understand, and I feel that the author’s way of laying such a heart-breaking topic out in black and white was shockingly genius. It made me take notice. It made me think about every single word in front of me, wondering whether there was more to Molly’s words at the time.
Nicola Cassidy, quite clearly, is a brilliant, brilliant story-teller, writing words which have the depth to stay by you for a very long time after reading them. I am so glad that I didn’t stop reading the book as I would have missed out on the closure, as well as the rest of the devastatingly beautiful story of ‘December Girl’.
Raw, shocking, emotional and highly addictive, ‘December Girl’ will leave you in such a trance, it might even be December when you wake. The themes throughout the novel may be uncomfortable, yet the underlying message is worth its weight in gold.
December Girl will be published on the 26th October 2017, but is available to pre-order now from Amazon UK
About the author.
Nicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland. She started
her writing career early, entering short story competitions, penning protest
letters to magazines and making up characters in her head. These
scribblings saw her place in a number of competitions as a child and
encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at
Dublin City University.
While working in political PR and marketing, Nicola studied a series of
advanced creative writing courses atthe Irish Writers’ Centre and set up a
lifestyle and literary blog at http://www.LadyNicci.com, which was nominated in
the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016.
During her maternity leave for her first daughter, Nicola set about
researching and writing a historical fiction novel, December Girl, inspired
by true events and setin the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, famed for
its stone age passage tombs, nearto where she grew up.
Nicola signed with US based Trace Literary Agency in 2016. December Girl
was picked up by Betsy Reavley at UK digital publisher Bombshell Books
in June 2017 and will be published 26 October 2017.
She is an avid reader, inspired by the likes of Anais Nin, Joan Didion and
Jessie Burton and is currently working on her second novel, also inspired
by true events. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in
Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.