Book Review: The Ice Cream Girls – Dorothy Koomson

Title: The Ice Cream Girls
Author: Dorothy Koomson
ISBN: 9781455507139
Pages: 448
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

It’s been over twenty years since it all happened. Twenty years since Poppy and Serena, two teen girls, were accused of killing their high school teacher, with whom each of them had been having an affair. Twenty years since Poppy was found guilty and Serena innocent. Now, Poppy is being released from prison, and the only thing that has carried her through her term is the fact she knows she’s innocent. Now she’s intent on finding Serena and forcing her to confess to the murder. When Serena discovers Poppy is being released, she fears that the life she’s built will come crumbling down, as she hasn’t told her husband the truth about what happened.

Review:

The Ice Cream Girls is a superb psychological thriller about two very different women with a tragic past in common. Poppy and Serena were both taken advantage of by their teacher. They were young, naïve girls who were manipulated and psychologically, emotionally, and physically abused by a man they should have been able to trust. Koomson doesn’t shy away from depicting the horror that each of these women underwent as teenagers. It’s brutal, but very well done, and it helps to explain how damaged both Poppy and Serena are now.

Koomson tackles the question of innocence versus guilt very well in The Ice Cream Girls. From the beginning, Poppy maintains her innocence. Yet can the reader really trust her? And it appears as though Serena wasn’t the murderer as well. But memory is fallible and the reader is never entirely sure of who they can trust, especially considering it would be difficult to blame either of the girls if they had been guilty.

This question of guilt and innocence extends into family. Serena wonders whether her sisters actually believe that she didn’t commit the crime, while Poppy must grapple with the fact that her parents want nothing to do with her since her release from prison. Not only that, but they are keeping her from communicating with her siblings. Poppy’s life has been ruined by her prison time, but though Serena looks like she has gotten off scot-free, it’s clear that’s not the case. She keeps secrets from her husband and distrusts her sisters. Koomson deals with these nuances very well, making it difficult to paint anything as black and white in this book.

Because of the multiple issues it deals with, as well as the expertly drawn main characters, The Ice Cream Girls would make an excellent book club pick. Koomson’s thoughtful portrayal of both Serena and Poppy will speak to readers. It’s a psychological thriller with a lot of depth, which fans of the genre should welcome.

Other books by Dorothy Koomson:

The Chocolate Run – Dorothy Koomson
The Cupid Effect – Dorothy Koomson
Marshmallows for Breakfast – Dorothy Koomson
My Best Friend’s Girl – Dorothy Koomson

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Comments

  1. This isn’t my usual kind of book, but as soon as I read the title I was drawn to it. I think it may have been the incongruity of the title with “psychological thriller…” it just intrigues me. Then your review made it sound fantastic. I may have to step out of my comfort zone and check it out!

  2. This isn’t my usual kind of book, but as soon as I read the title I was drawn to it. I think it may have been the incongruity of the title with “psychological thriller…” it just intrigues me. Then your review made it sound fantastic. I may have to step out of my comfort zone and check it out!

  3. This one sounds really good! I love a good unreliable narrator. I’ll have to check this out soon.

  4. This one sounds really good! I love a good unreliable narrator. I’ll have to check this out soon.

  5. I love a good psychological thrill..and this one sounds very good.

  6. I love a good psychological thrill..and this one sounds very good.

  7. This sounds like a real page turner!!

  8. This sounds like a real page turner!!

  9. Every time you review a book that I think would be perfect for my current book club, I make a little note in my phone, and carry it to the meeting! I made note of this one, because it sounds fascinating and intense. I can’t imagine what it must be like for Poppy to take the rap for the crime Serena committed. Excellent review. I must read this one!

  10. Every time you review a book that I think would be perfect for my current book club, I make a little note in my phone, and carry it to the meeting! I made note of this one, because it sounds fascinating and intense. I can’t imagine what it must be like for Poppy to take the rap for the crime Serena committed. Excellent review. I must read this one!

  11. This one sounds fascinating!

  12. This one sounds fascinating!

  13. How is it that I’ve never heard of this book! Sounds like my cup of tea!

  14. How is it that I’ve never heard of this book! Sounds like my cup of tea!

  15. Sounds really good! I hadn’t heard of it before but now I definitely plan to check it out.

  16. Sounds really good! I hadn’t heard of it before but now I definitely plan to check it out.

  17. Over two decades later, Poppy is released from prison. All this time behind bars she had one goal: to prove her innocence. Poppy seeks Serena to force her to tell the truth as to what happened in 1989, but the girl, who was never her friend in spite of the media lies to the contrary, vanished.

  18. Over two decades later, Poppy is released from prison. All this time behind bars she had one goal: to prove her innocence. Poppy seeks Serena to force her to tell the truth as to what happened in 1989, but the girl, who was never her friend in spite of the media lies to the contrary, vanished.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Chocolate Run The Cupid Effect The Ice Cream Girls Marshmallows for Breakfast My Best Friend’s Girl […]

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