Review: The Girls from Sandycove by Sian O’Gorman

The Girls From Sandycove

About the Book, The Girls of Sandycove

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Boldwood Books (January 23, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 328 pages

THE GIRLS FROM SANDYCOVE hi 4 boldwood.A mother and daughter adrift, a friend in need, and a village to call home…

When Kate O’Hare discovers she’s pregnant, she is determined to return to her hometown of Sandycove in Dublin.

On the other side of the Atlantic, her estranged mother, international superstar, Lola, is heartbroken following the loss of her soulmate, Paulie. On hearing Kate’s plan, Lola follows her, seeking a second chance at motherhood.

Kate discovers her best friend, Flora, is back in her childhood bedroom, her marriage and self-esteem in tatters following her husband’s public betrayal.

Flora now finds herself with no husband, home, or future, while her own mother Patsy is stepping out of her comfort zone into the world of interiors. Can Patsy’s new life reignite Flora’s talent and creativity?

And what of the O’Hare family secret which has the power to unlock a pathway to greater mutual understanding? And will music and the magic of Sandycove be enough to empower the women through such challenging times?

An emotive story of forgiveness, new beginnings and happy-ever-afters…

Buy, read, and discuss this book:

Purchase Link | Goodreads


About the Author, Sian O’Gorman Sian O'G

Sian O’Gorman was born in Galway and now lives just along the coast from Dublin. She works as a radio producer alongside writing contemporary women’s fiction inspired by friend and family relationships.

Connect with Sian:

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My Thoughts MissMeliss - 2023

This was my first “visit” to Sandycove, but it definitely won’t be my last.

In The Girls from Sandycove, author Sian O’Gorman has given us a story about mothers and daughters, exploring both the mother-daughter dynamic and exploring each role on its own. Her subject matter is universal, and her characters are relatable – who hasn’t run home to mom (at least figuratively) when their life has gone sour? Who hasn’t sometimes felt overshadowed by a particularly successful parent? (My own mother freely  admits that she prefers to always be the center of attention.)

So, this story of Flora and Patsy, Kate and Lola is written with realistic dialogue and mostly plausible situations. I liked that each mother-daughter pair had conflict but also drew strength from each other, and I loved that all of this was centered around Sandycove, a village “near Dublin.”

As someone who never really had a hometown, I’ve always been drawn to “hometown stories,” and this novel is no exception. There’s a special kind of magic in returning to the place where you grew up – nostalgic on one level, but a bit like a faded postcard on another – and O’Gorman has captured all of it, making Sandycove its own character.

If you like heartwarming family drama, strong female characters, and a story where people struggle but ultimately grow, read The Girls from Sandycove.

Goes well with: a sunny day, sandy feet, and sharing a bottle of prosecco with your mother, your daughter, or both.


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Dear Carolina, by Kristy Woodson Harvey (@kristywharvey) #review

About the book, Dear Carolina Dear Carolina

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 5, 2015)

One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…

Buy, read, and discuss Dear Carolina

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads


About the author, Kristy Woodson Harvey:

Kristy Woodson Harvey holds a degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from East Carolina University. She writes about interior design and loves connecting with readers. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son. Dear Carolina is her first novel.

Connect with Kristy

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My Thoughts

When Kristy Woodson Harvey contacted me asking me if I’d be interested in reading her book, I jumped at the chance, because it sounded exactly like something I’d love to read.

I was not wrong. This is a fantastic novel about mothers and daughters, and what exactly constitutes family.

Written in alternating first-person accounts, letters to the title character, this book focuses on Jodi, the nineteen-year-old biological mother of Carolina, and Khaki (real name Frances) her older, married cousin, and Carolina’s adopted mother, and how the lives and stories of all concerned are intertwined, woven into a tapestry where love is ever present.

I loved the way the rhythms of southern speech infused this novel. All through it, I found myself reading bits aloud because I wanted to hear the words, not just read them, and the author did an excellent job of keeping the two main voices of the novel separate and distinct, but clearly related. It’s a tricky thing to pull off, but she did it with aplomb.

Based on this novel, I believe it’s safe to say that Harvey has a bright future ahead of her. I loved this book, but I’m also looking forward to whatever she comes up with next.

Goes well with homemade bread slathered with jam made from fresh-picked berries.