Nice Girls Don’t by Sue Barnard

I received a free copy of Nice Girls Don’t by Sue Barnard in exchange for an honest review.

Who knows what secrets lie hidden in your family’s past?

Southern England, 1982.

At 25, single, and under threat of redundancy from her job in a local library, Emily feels as though her life is going nowhere – until the day when Carl comes into the library asking for books about tracing family history.

Carl is baffled by a mystery about his late grandfather: why is the name by which Carl had always known him different from the name on his old passport?

Fascinated as much by Carl himself as by the puzzle he wants to solve, Emily tries to help him find the answers. As their relationship develops, their quest for the truth takes them along a complicated paper-trail which leads, eventually, to the battlefields of the Great War.

In the meantime, Emily discovers that her own family also has its fair share of secrets and lies. And old sins can still cast long shadows…

Can Emily finally lay the ghosts of the past to rest and look forward to a brighter future?

A tale of discovery, love and fate.

I enjoyed Nice Girls Don’t and it almost kept me from being annoyed as my train journey home unravelled into disaster on Sunday (frankly nothing could have done better it was such a bad journey). I can think of many books I’ve read and enjoyed that wouldn’t have held my attention as well in such circumstances so that’s a positive for it.

It’s a relative short book but the perfect length for the plot which moves continuously and doesn’t drag at all or feel rushed. My only criticism is that I guessed one of the secrets and although I love the way it was handled I’d have liked to have had more of the reaction to that rather than jumping straight to the next plot point. That’s mostly because it’s an area I’m interested in rather than the book needing it.

Nice Girls Don’t has a rich cast of characters and I enjoyed getting to know them. I’d like to read more about them if Sue Barnard wrote a sequel either Emily and Carl or some of the minor characters who really intrigued me.

I nearly skipped this review request but I’m glad I took a second look and decided to say yes.

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