Cover Image: Strange Sally Diamond

Strange Sally Diamond

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Member Reviews

Many thanks to Net Galley and Penguin General UK for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.
Wow! I loved every single minute of this book. A gripping read from page one, a twisty psychological dramatic read.
Sally Diamond is indeed a little strange, she definitely has no filters, she says exactly what she is thinking. She has no social skills, having been home schooled by her father and totally sheltered from the outside world.
Her father has died at home, Sally had been looking after him, he had told her not to be fussing and just to put him out with the rubbish, Sally takes any instructions literally, so this is exactly what she does. This leads to the police at her door and a huge change to Sally’s world, the media have the story and everyone is suddenly interested in her.
Her father had left her some letters to be read at intervals after his death, through these Sally learns about her traumatic childhood, there is also someone out there trying to get in touch with her. The story is told in the past and present, I could not stop reading, this is a dark read, and in places a little disturbing., brilliant story telling though, her biological father was a sick monster, unfortunately Sally is not the only one who was damaged by his cruelty..
I was rooting for Sally from page one, there are also some other interesting characters. This is definitely a 5 star read once again from Liz Nugent.

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I have a feeling EVERYONE is going to be talking about Strange Sally Diamond! Twisted and brilliantly observed, this is the story of Sally confronting her unknown past. Sally is one of those characters that you instantly take to. She may be socially awkward, blunt and unfiltered in what she says, but there’s a naivety about her that makes you want to take her under your wing and protect her.

Sally’s father once told her when he died, she should put him out with the rubbish. So that is exactly what she does! Now Sally can’t help wondering why everyone is making such a big deal out of it!

And so begins a chain of dramatic events that leads Sally on a journey of discovery that’s heartbreaking and disturbing in equal measures. There are light-hearted occasions that are a welcome respite from the dark subjects covered in this book.

I loved how Liz Nugent allows the reader to get a glimpse of Sally’s interpretation of the world. This is a woman who has been sheltered from the outside world, with no friends, no job, and no social life. Her world feels claustrophobic. You can’t help but admire her strength of character as she grows and copes with life’s horrifying challenges. As I learnt more about Sally’s past, my concerns for her grew and a feeling of dread settled deep in me.

Strange Sally Diamond has chilling and harrowing themes that will evoke a myriad of emotions. You will root for Sally, as the trauma in her background is horrifically revealed. This is a book that is incredibly well written. It’s a book that’s vivid, taut, highly original and wickedly dark. In case you haven’t already guessed, I loved this book! It’s a MUST read for those that love dark thrillers!

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Liz Nugent became one of the authors I would order any new book immediately without knowing anything about it. I just love her strong writing and her unusual characters. She is a safe bet for me. I think “Strange Sally Diamond” is one of her strongest books.

Sally is different. Her adoptive father always described her as socially deficient. She is a grown woman over forty and she stays at home all the time with her father. She takes everything literally so when her father dies she just put him out in the bin like he always told her to do. That he was joking was beyond her understanding. And the letter he left her did not say specifically that she should open it immediately after his death. But words get out about what she did and soon she is a media sensation. Then Sally has a dark past she totally forgot about.

Sally is a character who will be hard to forget. The whole book is very intense, very disturbing and shocking. But there is also a bit of humor as Sally has a way of speaking her mind which is quite refreshing. After the incident with her father things seem to get better for Sally. She does therapy and she meets people who care for her and become her friends. But Sally is not an easy person to like. And her past is catching up quickly. There is someone out there who wants to get in touch with her.

This book absolutely captivated me although it is not an easy read. The story is too disturbing and sad to be a fun read. But I would recommend it if you like dark psychological thrillers but be aware that when you are sensitive to topics like child abduction, sexual and psychical abuse you may consider to pass this one.

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I don’t know what I expected when I started this book but it wasn’t this heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of Sally Diamond. There were times when I had to put the book down & take a few minutes, but otherwise I was hooked. Sally is certainly strange - she doesn’t act the way that society expects her to act. However, as we get into the story & Sally’s past is revealed, we can see why her father called her socially deficient. Sally’s past is brutal, and as more is revealed, a second perspective is introduced, showing us more information about Sally’s past. I found this perspective to be horrifying and as it progressed, I really struggled to have much sympathy for them. At the same time, I was so proud of Sally - she was learning social norms & working on herself to make her life better. There’s so much trauma in this story, and we see how this impacts everyone associated with the people involved. This was a dark and disturbing read but it was also very engrossing - Sally is going to be a character that I will remember for a long time.

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I have not read any of Liz Nugents other books but will certainly look them up to buy them now. Not often does a book grip me within the first few lines but this certainly did and then carried me along on a wonderfully emotional journey to the end. A must read book of 2023.

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trange doesn't even begin to describe Sally Diamond; this is a woman who pretends to be deaf so that she doesn't have to engage socially after all. Having lived a sheltered existence for all her life, the death of her adoptive father and her subsequent disposal of his body in the dustbin opens up her life in ways that she could not have foreseen.

This is a tense, nuanced, emotional and thrilling book. The media reportage of the situation brings Sally to the attention of someone who knows more about her past than seems possible, and they are reaching out to her. There are also the letters that her father have left for Sally which indicate the trauma that she experienced in the first seven years of her life. It is a dark and harrowing read, and incredibly upsetting. Yet there are chinks of light and even humour as Sally grapples with the revelations and sets about creating a new independent life for herself.

Reading the book I experienced a smorgasbord of emotions. At times I smiled wryly to myself, at other points my heart beat sped up as I raced to turn the pages. I cried, I got frustrated and I felt full of admiration for Sally.

This is an utterly amazing book and I expect to see this win lots of 'best books of 2023' lists.

My thanks got to the publishers and Net Galley for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.

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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me access to this ahead of publication.
4.25/5 rounded to 4 stars.
A fascinating read that certainly kept me at the edge of my seat and turning the pages as fast I as could.
I found myself deeply feeling for Sally, her character was realistic and well fleshed, her charactarisation made sense after everything she went through. I loved seeing her growing and thriving in many aspects of her life.
I like that there was a second pov throughout although it made for an even more of a challenging read. This book should definitely come with lots of trigger warnings, the violence got to be too much at times for me and I had to stop for a bit while reading some times.
The book kept a stable pace except for the ending which I felt was more rushed than it should've been, and even though I didn't expect and I certainly wouldn't have like it to have been a neat with a bow on top ending, I also didn't expect to see such a regression in Sally's progress.
As a whole it was entertaining the way crime shows are but it was also at times an extremely heavy and difficult story.
tw: rape, paedophilia, abuse, abduction, suicide, violence

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When I first started this book I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it. But after the first few chapters it hooked me! My mind was coming up with so many weird plot lines as I couldn’t see where it was going at all, in a good way! I grew to like Sally and her many quirks and as the book went in your get to understand her more and how debating her background is. Parts were not easy to read but this books made me feel so many emotions! Sadly the ending felt a little like the book ran out of steam but overall I enjoyed it!

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I tend not to read blurbs so from the title, I think I expected a life-affirming story about a neurodivergent woman, navigating her way through life and teaching us valuable lessons along the way. In some ways, this is true. But it was way way darker than I was expecting. I don't want to talk about the plot really, as with any thriller, this would spoil the experience for anyone thinking of reading it. But be prepared, it is not an easy read. There is violence of all kinds and a lot of cruelty.

But let's just talk about Strange Sally Diamond. What an amazing character, and such clever writing. I had to keep reminding myself that she's in her forties, as she (purposely) had such a young voice. To see her go from pure survival to thriving was a joy to read and the first words just might be up there with my favourite openers. 'He told me to put him out with the bins when he died'. So she did. And that is just the beginning!

Engaging and original, it's hard to stand out from the saturated thriller market, but Strange Sally Diamond certainly shone brightly.

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**TRIGGER WARNING** Horrific Abuse.

Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him put with the rubbish when he dies. Now Sally is at the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and worried police, but also a sinister voice from the past she has no memory of. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, recluse Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, finding independence and learning that people don't always mean what they say.

Sally Diamond lived with her adoptive father, a recluse, and lived in a remote village in Co. Roscommon. Sally's life takes a turbulent turn when she misconstrues a comment her father made when he joked about putting him out with the rubbish when he dies. Sally's past has always been a mystery to her. This book is not for the faint hearted. It deals with horrific abuse, but there is also some humour. I really liked Sall, you just want to love and protect her. Secrets that have been kept for generations, are slowly revealed. I was quickly pu;;ed into this well written and gripping read. This is my favourite book that I've read by the author, so far.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #PenguinGeneralUk and the author #LizNugent for y ARC of #StrangeSallyDiamond in exchange for an honest review.

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When Sally put her dead father out with the rubbish, she couldn't understand why everyone was making such a big deal out of it. Due to an unfortunate upbringing Sally has always led a sheltered reclusive life, she prefers it that way. Now that everyone is paying attention to her she doesn't like it one bit, it makes her angry and nobody likes it when she's angry. Weirdly, burning her father has reintroduced her to society. Sally makes friends for the first time and speaks to relatives she hasn't seen in a very long time. However, this only helps to uncover the secrets of her past and she comes to know some hard truths about her family.

This is my first time reading this author, the book description was intriguing but I really didn't know what to expect. This book is brilliantly disturbing in every way. You definitely feel empathy for Sally (she goes through a lot), and also a couple of other characters, igniting that old psychological nature vs nurture debate. The ending didn't completely close all the doors, there could easily be a book two and I am ready for it. Overall, it's a great book and I look forward to reading more from this author.

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5⭐️

This book had a lot of early very positive vibes on social media, with the fear of missing out on something special I couldn’t pass up the chance of reading it, as I enjoy quirky character studies, but it is SO much more than that. It’s so dark and disturbing, and I don’t want to spoil anything.

Sally Diamond is in her 40’s and is different. Her psychiatrist dad describes her as being unique. She followed her dad’s instructions to put him out with the rubbish when he died, and can’t understand why that is causing a fuss.

Sally suddenly has to learn to navigate life, it’s an eye opening journey.
Lots of Sallys actions and comments had me chuckling.
There’s an array of characters. The characters are interesting, often complex, not necessarily all likeable, but very well crafted. I was solidly behind likeable Sally during her difficulties.
Lots of secrets, lies, twists, and turns, very dark. Totally riveting.

I totally loved this from the very first page, it’s jumped straight into my books of the year, and will take some beating for the top spot.

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Another triumph by Liz Nugent, an author who isn't afraid to go to the darkest places we can imagine with some of the worst people. SSD reminded me of Room meets Eleanor Oliphant. There were points where I wanted to reach into the book's pages and shake some of the characters (well. one in particular) and I knew that because this was Liz Nugent a happy ending was far from guaranteed. A work of genius.

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First time that I have read this author. Interesting premise. Mixed feelings about the storyline as some of it unbelievable but I kept reading as a lot of it was pulling me in.. I felt the ending far too rushed and left me hanging. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it.

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This really is a book that I can see being much talked about on its March release, and I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the chance to meet Sally Diamond before she ventures into the world.
From the opening chapter I was desperate to find out more about our main character. Socially isolated, Sally has lived in rural Ireland with her father since her mother’s stroke. She has her routines, does her best to avoid talking to people and follows her father’s wishes when she burns him as part of the household rubbish following his death.
It’s clear from the opening that Sally is unconventional. Her actions bring about unexpected interest…and reveal that Sally was not who she thought and that her past is a more troubled one than you could have imagined.
I don’t want to reveal any of the details that we learn about Sally, but my heart broke for her as she learns the truth about her experience and finds herself dealing with situations that are so far removed from her comfort zone.
This was an ambitious book. How realistic the portrayal of the characters and their situations is, I wouldn’t dare to comment on, but I can’t see anyone being unmoved by the story that begins with Strange Sally.

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After the death of her adoptive father, Sally puts him out with the rubbish. She doesn’t understand why everyone thinks that this is so strange, this is what her father had told her to do. This gains a load of media attention and Sally starts to learn about the horror of her biological father.

If you liked Wednesday on Netflix then this is certainly a book for you. It is safe to say I have never read a book like this in my life. The story line of her past is horrific. The different time lines and perspectives make it a gripping read. Sally herself is extremely socially awkward and I enjoyed reading about her learning how to forge friendships and relationships with others.

Even though I loved this story, the ending left me feeling a bit high and dry. I am hoping this is because a sequel is being written and if one isn’t planned for the pipe line, then it definitely should be!

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I did enjoy this book but did find it hard going at certain points,the writing is great though and I will be looking at the authors back catalogue ( especially after the comments read re her other books ) this book was certainly an experience!

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Yet another fantastic read by this author. I loved Strange Sally Diamond, Sally's early years were heartbreaking and horrific . Sally was not just a brilliant character, she was so believable., I laughed but also cried at her frustrations and honesty. A traumatic and harrowing read at times had me rooting for Sally throughout. Obviously a book by Liz Nugent'would not be complete without obnoxious and despicable characters . A superb read !

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Where do I start. I’ve read this author before, but this book was just something else. There are some brilliant characters in the book, some just brilliant, others brilliantly awful. When I started it I thought it was going to be about a character on the spectrum, I had no idea how dark and disturbing the storyline would become. So well written this character driven novel is a proper gem, a diamond in fact! Written in multiple timelines and from various POV’s this is a compelling read.

Briefly, Sally Diamond is different. Sally will tell you that. She is neurodivergent, socially deficient and a loner. Since her mother died she has been brought up by her father and they relied totally on each other. Sally also takes everything she is told as fact so when her father dies she “puts him out with the rubbish”. This misunderstanding bring her to the attention of the police and the media, and soon after her past begins to unravel.

It’s hard not to mention some of the other characters, but to do so would be a big spoiler so you’re just going to have to read it for yourself. This book raises the issue of nature versus nurture and it’s a compelling story of how trusting children are of their parents despite everything. As the story progresses you can’t help but feel horror at many of the revelations but there are still little bits of humour to break the tension. A wonderful book that must be heading for awards.

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I absolutely loved this book. Now I've finished reading it I have a bit of a book hangover and that rarely happens to me.

Sally is an interesting and quirky character. You might be lead to believe that she put her deceased father out for rubbish collection because she's autistic but her situation is much more complex than that. You'll have to read the book to find out why.

I love that this story is dark and disturbing but tempered with humor. I really didn't know what direction the plot was going in but I enjoyed being along for the ride. I was completely gripped from the first page and thought the ending was thought provoking.

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that enjoys a dark thriller.

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