Book Review: The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

  • Published: 15/06/2017
  • 432 pages
  • Format: Kindle
  • Rating: 1280px-5_stars.svg

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip.

But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making.

Has help been next door without them realising it?


Reading challenge number 5: Read a book with a number on the cover, was pretty simple for me. It’s been recommended to me by a friend and when you know you have a similar taste in books and this book has become their favourite read so far this year, you just know that decision has been made for you. There was no question about it, I knew I will like this book, love it even.

If you read a blurb you might get an idea about the main characters. Stella’s and Rea’s life collide and they find a way to confide in each other about their past and present, connected by fear and feeling of being trapped. They really don’t have much in common but more you get to know them, more you realize it’s not appearance that counts when we make friends, no age gap is too wide when you connect with someone and learn to trust them like your own family.

This must be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. I loved every bit of this book, there was so much depth into the story, so many heartbreaking moments, that feeling of desperation, also that heavy gloomy feeling when you know something bad is going to happen. Lighten up by happy and funny moments. But there is just so much of this book I can’t reveal as basically every single thing I want to say would have to be a spoiler and it would just ruin the real experience you need to have when reading this book. At first I thought that Blurb had very little to do with actual story, it was fairly short and this book was so so much more than just a story of two women’s lives. But I understand why now, any more would just reveal too much and this story needed to stay hidden and unravel before your own eyes. That’s what made this book so strong, the impact it made on you by just reading chapter after chapter and thinking: NO, THIS CAN’T REALLY BE HAPPENING!

So what made this book so special for me would have to be the realistic feeling. Knowing that it isn’t just a story, but life someone might be living right now! You can’t connect to characters any more than when you actually believe it’s real, and this story made my heart break for them, my eyes swell with tears and I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I finished it. I’m still thinking about it now and I don’t think I will be able to forget it anytime soon.


About Carmel Harrington


Take the warmth and wit of Maeve Binchy and the secrets and twists of a Liane Moriarty and you get the utterly original and compelling voice of Irish Times bestseller Carmel Harrington, a voice that has captured the hearts of readers around the world.
Carmel is from Co. Wexford, Ireland, where she lives with her husband Roger and two children, Amelia and Nate.
Carmel writes with incredible compassion and warmth about characters so authentic, they could be sitting right beside you. Her page-turning family-centric novels are translated into eight different languages, all regular chart-toppers.
Books published in 2017 are The Woman at 72 Derry Lane (Harper Collins) and Cold Feet – The Lost Years (Hodder & Stoughton). This original novel is written in collaboration with Mike Bullen, the creator of the popular ITV show.
Carmel is a regular on Irish TV as a panelist on TV3’s Elaine Show. In addition, she is Chair of Wexford Literary Festival, of which she co-founded.
Her other bestsellers include The Things I Should Have Told You, which was shortlisted for a BGE Irish Book Award in 2016, Every Time A Bell Rings, The Life You Left and Romantic eBook of the Year 2013 & Kindle Book of the Year 2013 winner Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.
For more information visit
You can also find Carmel on Twitter & Facebook.

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