Blog tour: The Gosling Girl

Welcome to the blog tour for The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy!

More about the book…

Michelle Cameron’s name is associated with the most abhorrent of crimes. A child who lured a younger child away from her parents and to her death, she is known as the black girl who murdered a little white girl; evil incarnate according to the media. As the book opens, she has done her time, and has been released as a young woman with a new identity to start her life again.

When another shocking death occurs, Michelle is the first in the frame. Brought into the police station to answer questions around a suspicious death, it is only a matter of time until the press find out who she is now and where she lives and set about destroying her all over again.

Natalie Tyler is the officer brought in to investigate the murder. A black detective constable, she has been ostracised from her family and often feels she is in the wrong job. But when she meets Michelle, she feels a complicated need to protect her, whatever she might have done.

The Gosling Girl is a moving, powerful account of systemic, institutional and internalised racism, and of how the marginalised fight back. It delves into the psychological after-effects of a crime committed in childhood, exploring intersections between race and class as Michelle's story is co-opted and controlled by those around her. Jacqueline writes with a cool restraint and The Gosling Girl is a raw and powerful novel that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.

More about the author…

Jacqueline was born and raised in London. Her father was Jamaican and her mother was English and she comes from a family of writers. She hated the pressure to conform at school and left early, so she did her degrees as a mature student and moved to Manchester to take up a full-time teaching post at Manchester Metropolitan University. She lectured in English for many years, specialising in postcolonial literatures. She also taught creative writing at MMU’s Writing School. She is particularly interested in exploring racial identities and the ways in which those who are marginalised find strategies for fighting back. She is now a full-time writer and has produced fiction for adults and children.

My impressions…

Was it a page-turner? This novel deals with some very hard subjects, such as the killing of a child and racism, and I did therefore need to take a break every now and then to process what I’d just read. The way it’s written, however, is completely captivating. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Gosling Girl was turned into a TV series.

Did the book meet my expectations? If you are looking for a novel that gives you answers, this isn’t it. The situations and moral questions we are presented with leave it very much to the reader to make their mind up. I love a book that makes you think, and I wasn’t wrong in expecting The Gosling Girl to do just that. And do it wonderfully.

Three words to describe it. Brilliant. Contemporary. Thought-provoking.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it’s one of the first things that attracted me to this book.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I’d like to.

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