fiction / mystery

The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson




Computer problems plagued me again this week. We’ve had awful internet issues since we moved in this house in 2005 and since we live in Baltimore City we have little choice as to service providers. We finally bought a new desktop for me to work on (our old one was so noisy and had to be kept on 24/7 lest it panic-inducingly refuse to turn back on) and we had it all set up after several days of no computer and working and then Saturday the new one wouldn’t boot up at all. Of course, this was also the day of my aunt’s memorial service and the day after my neighbor left her hose on for 24 hrs flooding our yard which then led to our basement flooding. Such fun! Anyway, we were able to exchange it for a new one yesterday so fingers crossed, this one will work.

On to the book! I quite enjoyed this one. I came across it in a roundabout way. I had noticed a few actors we enjoyed in British dramas were in a miniseries called The Ice Cream Girls. I can’t find even a region-free copy of it here in the US but in my research, I realized it was based on a book. I requested it and it finally came in via inter-county library loan. It was a much thicker book than I expected but it really drew me in. Basically, it is the story of two girls accused of killing a teacher. One ended up in prison and after 18 years is getting out and one was charged but not convicted and has married a doctor who doesn’t know of her past and has children. The book flashes back and forth between the two women and through time. We get to see what happened before, after and during the crime through both of their eyes which really added to the story. Their lives ended up so differently but once one gets out of prison and contacts the free woman, they have to confront what really happened. Both girls had been in a relationship with the manipulative, abusive teacher and it culminated in an unfortunate incident of violence. You are left guessing who (if either) of the girls was actually responsible for the teacher’s death which made the book quite a page turner. The details of how it was like going home from prison to a family that doesn’t know how to deal with you were compelling as was the fear that comes with not telling your husband about your arrest and the repercussions that would have on your marriage.

The truth isn’t revealed until the final few pages and while I had guessed the ending, I didn’t like how it was written–through the dying teacher’s point of view. I didn’t think it added much to the book.

I really recommend this book, it was well-written, compelling and interesting.

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