Today I’m pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for That Green Eyed Girl an amazing and moving story set in 1950s and 70s New York. You can find out more about the book and why I loved it so much below, but first I’d like to thank Kallie from Michael Joseph for a chance to be on the blog tour and for a copy of the book! Now let’s see why this is, in my opinion, so good! 😀 …
Title: That Green Eyed Girl
Author: Julie Own Moylan
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph
Genre: Historical fiction, General fiction
Book format: Digital pre-publication copy
In an apartment on the Lower East Side, school teachers Dovie and Gillian live as lodgers. Dancing behind closed curtains, mixing cocktails for two, they guard their private lives fiercely. Until someone guesses the truth . . .
Twenty years later in the same apartment, Ava Winters is keeping her own secret. Her mother has become erratic, haunted by something Ava doesn’t understand – until one sweltering July morning, she disappears.
Soon after her mother’s departure, Ava receives a parcel. Addressed simply to ‘Apartment 3B’, it contains a photo of a woman with the word ‘LIAR’ scrawled across it.
Ava does not know what it means or who sent it.
But if she can find out then perhaps she’ll discover the answers she is seeking – and meet the woman at the heart of it all . . .
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: Oh this story, it’s so beautiful and heart-breaking at the same time. It’s 1975 in New York and Ava’s mother is not acting normal. Ava’s mother hasn’t been normal for some time mentally, and she soon disappears leaving Ava all alone. While Ava worries about her mother she soon comes across a box that’s been sent to her apartment all the way from Paris. The contents of the box are meant for someone else and she soon finds herself wondering about who lived in the apartment before her.
This is such a wonderful and yet heart-breaking story. The book begins in 1975 New York following Ava and we see the problems she has with her mother who has become mentally unstable. The opening line of the book is brilliant: ‘The day the box arrived, my mother thought she was Jesus’. It instantly had me reading this and once I started I found I couldn’t put this book down! The story is split between two tales, one set in 1975 following Ava, and the other set in 1955 following Dovie, a woman who used to live in the same apartment Ava now lives in.
Each chapter alternates between the story of 1975 and 1955 and I love how interesting both tales are from the start. Ava’s story shows her mother becoming worse, disappearing from home and later being taken to a hospital as she seems so lost and unstable. We see the story from fifteen-year-old Ava’s point of view as she sees her mother deteriorate and later has to cope with visiting her while having other problems with her father and his lack care for her. The story set in 1955 is written from Dovie’s point of view as she and Gillian, both teachers at a local school, live happy lives until one day their colleague Judith visits their apartment and discovers the truth about their relationship.
I enjoyed how this story shows us the relationship between Dovie and Gillian in a beautiful way. The two of them love each other and keep their love for each other a secret as it wasn’t acceptable in the 1950s. I have to say that I felt quite emotional reading what happens to them once it seems that their relationship is discovered. Dovie’s story is the one out of the two alternating tales that had me most emotional, how she and Gillian have their lives shattered when the truth about their relationship is discovered.
Ava’s story in 1975 is an interesting one and I like what happens as she and her friend Viola dig deeper into what happened to the women who used to live in Ava’s apartment. I like what we discover later on in the story about some of the characters and Ava’s own personal story is good too. Ava’s tale with her mother being in the hospital is an emotional read. There is also something we discover through this story about certain characters which leaves you feeling quite emotional too. The two tales continue to alternate with each chapter and we discover more and more about both Dovie’s and Ava’s lives. I love what happens in both stories and how things are resolved, especially at the end in Ava’s tale.
The ending is good, albeit a bittersweet one. There are things you discover and a big reveal of what happened to someone near the end. I love how this is resolved and the final chapter set in 1975 New York which gave a hopeful ending to what was otherwise quite a sad story. It felt like a satisfying ending, even though it is quite sad, and this book left me so emotional after reading it. It left me thinking about the horrible lives many women faced in the past, due to who they were and how horribly society treated some of them for just being themselves. The realities of what could happen are shown in this story and it does leave you feeling for these characters as they are going through so much.
Overall this is such a good book, the writing kept me engaged throughout, and I couldn’t stop reading, reading almost the entire book in one day, it’s that good! Ava’s and Dovie’s stories are both so interesting and heart-breaking and I loved reading what happened to both characters and where they end up. I love how the two separate stories cross over and it’s such a beautiful and yet emotional read, and a bit of a bitter sweet ending, as some have said. You wish there could have been a better ending, and yet enough is resolved that you feel satisfied reading it. There’s just the occasional use of the f swear word and mentions of what happens to some women who were treated badly at the time for being gay which is quite sad and honestly disturbing (I didn’t know that was what happened). It’s definitely an emotional read, but a satisfying one too, and this book will stay with me for a long time.
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About the Author
Julie Owen Moylan was born in Cardiff and has worked in a variety of jobs, from trainee hairdresser and chip shop attendant at sixteen to business management consultant and college lecturer in her thirties. She then returned to education to complete her Master’s degree in Film before going on to complete a further Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Julie is an alumna of the Faber Academy’s Writing a Novel course. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and two cats.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed my stop on the blog tour today for this great book. 🙂 Please do check out the other stops on the tour in the banner below, there are a lot of them! 😀
What do you think of this book? Do you like emotional reads? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂