Book Club: That Girl

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Author: Kate Kerrigan
ISBN: 9781786692597
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Kate Kerrigan is an author I haven’t read enough of but I really enjoyed It Was Only Ever You, which I also read while on holidays because I remember reading it while driving over the Clyde Mountain on my way to the coast. It was an historical fiction set in the 1950s that had me hooked.

That Girl is a book set in the sixties that offers a little bit of everything in a character driven novel in the time of gangsters. There is romance and mystery and a fascinating era. I look forward to sinking my teeth in.

I will be on public transport for the rest of this week so it would be a perfect reading opportunity; if I wasn’t traveling with four children that will require supervision.

The Harper Collins website has this synopsis:

You can escape a place. But you can’t escape yourself.

Hanna flees the scene of a terrible crime in her native Sligo. If she can just vanish, re-invent herself under a new name, perhaps the police won’t catch up with her. London seems the perfect place to disappear.

Lara has always loved Matthew and imagined happy married life in Dublin. Then comes the bombshell – Matthew says he wants to join the priesthood. Humiliated and broken-hearted, Lara heads to the most godless place she can find, King’s Road, Chelsea.

Matthew’s twin sister, Noreen, could not be more different from her brother. She does love fiance John, but she also craves sex, parties and fun. Swinging London has it all, but without John, Noreen is about to get way out of her depth.

All three girls find themselves working for Bobby Chevron – one of London’s most feared gangland bosses – and it’s not long before their new lives start to unravel.

Kate Kerrigan can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and the Kate Kerrigan website.

That Girl is available now from Harper Collins Australia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harper Collins Australia 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading That Girl so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments. I look forward to hearing what they think.

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19 thoughts on “Book Club: That Girl

  1. That Girl by Kate Kerrigan is a thoroughly entertaining and gripping read. It tells the story of three young women, each seeking to escape their pasts and the narrow confines of their Irish village lives, for the lively, big city London scene of the swinging 60s.

    I just loved it – what a great storyteller Kate Kerrigan is – I quickly found myself completely immersed in the lives of Hanna, Lara and Noreen as they navigated their way through the hustle and bustle of London life. Each girl is very different from the other and they have come to London for very different reasons, but they are all after a fresh start, wanting to leave their old lives behind and reinvent themselves. However it is not long before each girl’s past catches up with her, and Hanna, Lara and Noreen’s stories and their lives quickly intertwine. Reading how it all plays out is completely engrossing – a real page-turner. I definitely didn’t want it to finish!!

    An excellent read – great characters with secret pasts, an interesting and moving storyline, a coming into their own tale for all three women and set against the backdrop of the changing mod world of London in the sixties – what’s not to love?? I thoroughly recommend it.

  2. A big thank you to publishers Harper Collins and Beauty and Lace for supplying this novel ‘That Girl’ by Kate Kerrigan.

    This story is a non-stop roller coaster of excitement, surprises and experiences in life that the ordinary person would rarely encounter. The author offers three complicated and differing main characters as we follow their new lives and adventures with gripping interest and awe.

    The opening chapter presents a horrific tale of child sexual abuse and you know you’re in for a ride with this book. And so the story unfolds. Three main characters Hanna, Lara and Noreen; young Irish women in the 1960s, each escaping their past and seeking a new life, end up together in London.

    Going from the fat into the fire, they are exposed to the life of gangsters, strippers, alcohol and lecherous men associated with the Chevron Nightclub.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A ‘meety’, riveting and addictive read.

  3. Bright lights, big city. “That Girl” is a nice slice of contemporary fiction from Kate Kerrigan. It is a novel that is all about three young women who travel from their small villages in Ireland to pursue different things in London during the Swinging Sixties. This period was an eventful one in history and Kerrigan does a wonderful job of capturing the fashion and spirit of the times.

    Lara is an aspiring fashion designer. Annie is a gorgeous model while Noreen is a free spirit wanting to flex her wings and participate in some free loving. Kerrigan’s tale looks at how they negotiate this new town while looking at the power of the female friendship. There are also plenty of twists and turns thrown in for good measure.

    “That Girl” is a delightful read that is jam-packed with energy and action. It’s also one fun and breezy book.

  4. This is a fast paced and riveting book to read.
    The premise of the story are 3 young women, that come from small Irish villages, and each one is trying to escape something from their past. They all go to London to seek different lives and end up with a lot more than they bargained for.
    This is an interesting look at the Sixties in the fast paced world of London. Three girls with different backgrounds that end up intertwined.
    I really enjoyed reading this book and found it very hard to put down.
    Thanks to B&L and Kate Kerrigan for the opportunity to review this fantastic book.

  5. Wow!!! I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down, I just had to keep reading until the end. I will definitely be reading Kate’s other books.

  6. ‘That Girl’ has a little bit of everything. It is a story of family, secrets, lies, relationships, love, courage and strength. It is a powerful story of finding oneself, great friendships and above all new beginnings.

    The story revolves around three Irish girls : Hanna, who is running from an abusive past; Lara, who is running from a broken heart and Noreen who is just out for a good time . They are all escaping Ireland for their different reasons. They end up meeting in London and living together in the ‘groovy’ swinging sixties. I loved the backdrop of life in fashionable London during this period despite the violence and the gangsters.

    There is a bond between the girls as they are all looking for a safe place physically and mentally. Be prepared for twists, emotion and lots of heartwarming moments.

    It’s a beautifully written story and I really enjoyed it. Love it when an author takes you on a journey and you feel invested in the lives of the characters.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace, Kate Kerrigan and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review. A definite 5/5

  7. This book very much reminded me of a Monica McInerney novel. That said, I did quite enjoy it!
    It tells the story of three Irish girls who are all at a sort of crossroads in their life and wanting a change in their lives for various reasons.

    Hannah is escaping the unwelcome clutches of her step-father, Lara has just broken off with her boyfriend who has decided to go into the priesthood, and Noreen just craves the sort of wild life that other girls of her age are experiencing before becoming tied down in life.

    They go to London in search of a more exciting life, and end up in predicaments that they all never saw coming. This book was a little bit chick-lit for my liking but the the story lines were quite good for each girl, but I felt it finished rather abruptly with a wrap up of “where they were now”.
    Thank you to Beauty & Lace Bookclub for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

  8. This is a well written and entertaining book. I loved reading it on my daily commute and was completely,enthralled in the book. I loved the writing style which kept me reading well into th night. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a good fast paced engrossing book. Loved it!

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed reading That Girl by Kate Kerrigan.
    It was one of those novels that I could easily pick up and start reading and get so engrossed before you know it you are at the end of the book.
    The stories revolves around 3 Irish girls , all with different reasons to want to escape their lives and look to something different.
    They move to London in search of more for their lives and end up in interesting predicaments.
    Hannah, Lara and Noreen are engaging characters that you will love to meet in “That Girl” .
    I would recommend this novel to anyone wanting a lovely , enjoyable and engrossing novel.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for allowing me to read and review this novel.

  10. ‘That Girl’ by Kate Kerrigan is a book I probably wouldn’t normally pick up and read mainly because it’s different to the genre I normally like to read, butttt I did quite enjoy this read, so big thanks to Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins for the chance to read and review That Girl.
    Set in London in the mid 60’s, three Irish girls escape there Irish home towns to London.
    Hanna flees from Sligo after a terrible crime is committed, if she runs to busy London, changes her name and reinvents herself perhaps the police and her past won’t catch up with her.
    Budding clothing designer Lara dreams of marrying her childhood sweetheart Mathew and settling in Dublin, but Mathew has other ideas it seems and breaks Lara’s heart when he confesses he wants to join the priesthood. A humiliated Lara flees from Dublin to London.
    Noreen, Mathews twin sister is the opposite to Mathew and craves some adventure, breaking it off with her fiancé John she heads to London and lands on Lara’s doorstep.
    Lara lands a job at a sleazy nightclub Chevrons owned by Bobby Chevron, a feared gangland boss where she also meets Coleman who helps her dreams of becoming a fashion designer.
    Hanna meets Lara and the two are immediate acquaintances with there shared Irish homeland and move in together.
    Noreen also bunks with them when she arrives in London and Lara lands her a job at Chevrons.
    Although all three love the freedom that London initially brings, they soon see a darker side with there involvement with Chevrons, friendships are tested and they all realise you can run but your past always has a way of catching up you, as all there pasts start to entwine and lives are put in danger, will they manage to come out unscathed?
    I quite enjoyed ready That Girl, although there were a lot of characters that had there own little snippets it didn’t seem like it was too much or too confusing, there little snippets all played a roll in the overall story. The only thing I did find confusing sometimes was when Bobby was referred to as Chevron in the same bit as Coleman, the similar names made exchanges a little confusing.
    Although the plot was fairly easy to read you were still left guessing just which way it would go and what would happen. A page turner right until the end.

  11. Coincidentally a couple of days before starting this book That Girl, I had just finished reading It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    I found Kate’s writting style effortless and engaging from the first chapter. I enjoyed the characters, the era, the location, the lot!!

    This book really has a bit of everything, love, suspense and friendship. It’s a binge readers delight as it’s a hard one to put down! Definitely one I will recommend to friends!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins Australia for the chance to read and review this book.

  12. That Girl is a women’s fiction tale of friendship, love, self discovery and new beginnings that harks back to the shifting times of the swinging sixties. Author Kate Kerrigan crosses life in small town Ireland, with life in the hustle and bustle of busy London. That Girl is an engrossing tale of three women making a new life and name for themselves.

    That Girl isn’t the first book I have read by talented storyteller Kate Kerrigan. After rating Kerrigan’s previous novel, It was Only Ever You, as one of my top ten reads of 2016, I was excited about the prospect of reading and reviewing her much anticipated latest release. A back cover author endorsement via bestselling author Cecelia Ahern states, ‘mesmerising and moving. Just beautiful’. I couldn’t agree more, this is a very apt quote and perfectly encapsulates Kerrigan’s writing.

    Kerrigan’s latest is told from the viewpoints of three main characters. I quickly developed a strong level of empathy for Hanna. Poor Hanna who suffers incredible abuse at the hands of her stepfather and I wasn’t at all surprised by the turn of events that took Hanna away from her home in Ireland. I was on edge for most of this book, wondering if the past would catch up with Hanna. Supporting Hanna in the spotlight is Lara. I also felt very sorry for Lara, who lost her long time love to the priesthood. I also cheered Lara on, in the hope she would succeed in breaking into the fashion business in London. The third and final primary character in Kerrigan’s novel is Noreen. I felt only a small connection to Noreen. However, I did think that Kerrigan did a good job with this character. Through Noreen, Kerrigan shows the changes and new forms of freedom women of this era began to experiment with. Noreen was certainly free spirited and spunky! Rounding off the character list are a number of supporting characters, most of these are male, some are agreeable and some I wanted to see the very back of. Each character Kerrigan placed in That Girl was well formed and had a decent role to play in the events of the book.

    The best part about That Girl was the era and setting. When the three girls in this novel make the move to London, they base themselves in King’s Road. This specific area of London holds a personal connection for me. My father and his family lived in this area, until they moved to Australia in the 1970’s. With my family roots grounded in the main locale of Kerrigan’s latest, it was easy to develop affection for this book. Recalling some locale anecdotes from my father and grandmother of their old stomping ground, I believe Kerrigan has done a brilliant job of bringing to light this setting. Kerrigan’s inclusion of the glamour of this strip, the hub for mod culture and the heavy influence of fashion, is also offset by the darker side of this area. The references to gangland bosses, dodgy nightclub operatives, violence, booze, drugs and the sex industry reveal the murky side to London in the 1960’s.

    Kerrigan also does a very good job of capturing the social attitudes and changing moral codes of this time, particularly through her exploration of the character of Noreen. This is contrasted to the restrictive and prescriptive life of Ireland, which all three women in these novel were hoping to escape from. This aspect makes up the crux of the novel and the way in which it all pans out, complete with a few twists, turns, complications and intrigue makes the reader want to see this novel through until the bitter end. I must mention how much I liked how Kerrigan wrapped up That Girl. Kerrigan flashes forward in time to the year 1975, where we get an update on the changed lives of the characters we have grown to know and care about through the experience of reading That Girl.

    All in all, I can safely say I very much enjoyed my experience with That Girl. I loved how the book was able to transport me to the swinging sixties in a progressive city of the time, flashy London. I hope this proves to be a book that reaches out to many readers.

  13. I absolutely loved reading Kate Kerrigan’s novel That Girl. It was like having a cup of tea and cake with your best friend
    This is a coming of age tale of three young woman; Hanna,Lara and Noreen. Each of these women are running away, from 3 very different things.
    The girls are thrown together in Swinging London. Living together in a dilapidated flat, they are forced to deal with their past. They learn that behind glamour, there may be ugliness. Most of all though, all three discover strengths and talents they never knew they had

  14. That Girl by Kate Kerrigan

    This is the tale of three young women who leave Ireland to move to London in the 1960’s looking for freedom.
    They share accommodation, and the story tells how each of them finds work and settles into a different lifestyle.
    Mixed into everything is a background of Gangsters and crime, and the girls get caught up in the world of Clubs, gangland bosses and fear.
    This is a well written journey into the swinging sixties when life is changing, skirts are short, sex is available, and London is the place to be. But no one can disappear forever, and the girls find that the past has a way of catching up with them.

    I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, and any gangland violence wasn’t overly done. It was hard to put down as the reader wants to see what will happen next. It had an ending I couldn’t predict, which rounded out the story.

    Thank you to Beauty & Lace Book Club, and to Harper Collins Books, for the chance to read this book.

  15. I have been a long-time fan of Irish Kate Kerrigan since her first book, Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, came out in 2005. Since then I have devoured her standalone books, including her latest, That Girl. With its bold cover, That Girl is a warm tribute to the swinging 60s and the power of female friendship. It also sensitively deals with child abuse, sexual freedom and marraige through the three leading ladies Hanna, Lara and Noreen.

    Whenever I read a chic lit book, I usually have a favourite character. To my surprise, I enjoyed spending time with all women equally. Told in the third person, the story begins with Hanna as she deals with the fallout of death in her family. Hanna has a heart-breaking history that had me riveted, especially when she took matters into her own hands. Initially quiet and submissive, Hanna was stronger person then I thought she was as she escaped Ireland and headed to London, where she met Lara.

    Lara was the total opposite of Hanna, outgoing and confident, despite her rocky start to romance. Lara is running away from her partner who has made a decision that is not compatible with marriage. She too is unwaveringly brave as she moves to London where she unknowingly takes up a job with gangsters. Lara’s true passion lies in fashion though and I enjoyed reading about the clothes from this era. The pain that Lara felt from her finance could have hardened her heart against life but she keeps her innate kindness when she takes Hanna under her wing.

    The third and final member of the gang is Noreen, probably the one girl I could least relate to as she was the polar opposite of me in many respects. Noreen is Lara’s finance’s sister who decides that marriage is no longer for her. As a long time friend of Lara’s, she finds her to London to experience the freedoms that it has to offer. Physically, Noreen is very much a country girl with her curvey pale skin but she is outspoken and bold, unafraid to stand up for herself and those around her.

    Learning about 60s London together with the girls was a lot of fun but also a lesson in far women’s rights have come

  16. “That Girl” by Kate Kerrigan is a story of three young women Hanna, Lara and Noreen. They travel from their small home villages in Ireland to London, so they can spread their wings.

    Hanna must flee a terrible event in her home town of Sligo. She decides to just vanish, give herself a new name and begin a fresh new life in London.

    Lara has always loved Matthew and thought she would marry him and live happily ever after but unbeknown to her Matthew wants to join the priesthood. Heartbroken and not knowing what to do with herself she decides to head for London and ends up in King’s Road, Chelsea. Where her life really takes a change.

    Noreen, Matthew’s twin sister who loves her fiancé John, but is missing something in her life craves a change also moves to London. London has it all, parties, sex and fun but unfortunately Noreen is about to get way out of her comfort zone.

    All three women end up working for one of London’s gangland bosses, and the many changes that they are wishing for in their lives are about to happen, but not all are for the best but bring the women closer together.

    The story has a bit of everything, family, secrets, relationships, and love. It shows how finding oneself, friendships and that new beginnings are possible.

    A great read and I would highly recommend.

  17. Wow just wow. Kate you are simply Brilliant.
    Gripping and entertaining. The perfect combination of excellent writing and a plot that is just strange enough to be real lol.

    Kate writes in such a lovely style and it is easy to keep saying .. Just a few more pages.. when you really should go to bed! I admit, I read to long and late and really loved this book. I will absolutely be reading again and recommend this to anyone after a great book with intriguing storyline.

  18. I absolutely loved ‘That Girl’ by Kate Kerrigan. Initially telling the separate stories of 3 young Irish women who eventually find themselves in London in the bustling 60’s. On finding each other they are then able to tackle the challenges of their pasts and work towards new romances and identities.
    The book begins with the story of Hanna and I was captivated from this very moment, wanting to know more about her unusual relationship with her step father.

    ‘That Girl’ will keep your attention the whole way through and I found the ending rather enjoyable.

    I previously was given the opportunity from Beauty and Lace to read Kate Kerrigan’s ‘It Was Only Ever You’. I did find some similarities in the storyline and was definitely able to identify that I was reading another of Kate Kerrigan’s books from the writing style. I cannot wait to read more from this author.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace.

  19. Totally enjoyed this book. It was one of those I don’t want to put it down novels.
    Highly recommend it to anyone

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