Cover Image: Strange Sally Diamond

Strange Sally Diamond

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Member Reviews

The moment I finished Strange Sally Diamond I wanted more. While the book starts with Sally burning her fathers body it quickly turns into a heart warming story of self discovery, forgiveness, and independence. I was rooting for Sally as she learned to navigate the world without a parent to buffer situations. It was bittersweet to learn about the community who comes to understand and support Sally, if only it could have happened sooner,
The mystery of Sally’s birth and biological family was interspersed with all her other life changes and at time sets her growth back. And the ending was unbelievable and yet totally fitting in the worst way.

Definitely one of my top books of 2023.

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This was a heart stopping, heart-breaking read and had me on the edge of my seat. A difficult subject but expertly executed in the hands of this experienced author. While it’s dark and disturbing, it is never graphic. This is an author that doesn’t shy away from tough subjects and a story that kept me up way past my bedtime. Great characterization, a smart and well thought out unique plot with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.

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Love love LOVED Sally Diamond! It's strange, it's twisted, and I couldn't get enough of it. If you're looking for a dark yet charming book, give this one a read.

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After the passing of Sally's father, her true identity comes to light, and so begins the healing process from a remarkably tumultuous past.

I can't understand all the 5 star ratings for this book. For me it was like <u>Dear Child</u> meets <u>The Overnight Guest</u> but without any big reveal whatsoever. While I could sympathize for Sally's & Peter's situations, I never felt a connection to them as characters and the overall pacing of this novel was just slow. The conclusion was disappointing and lackluster. This was another case of where the over the top hype of this novel just didn't make sense for me. Also, I'm aware there were apparently two endings to this novel and since I received the ARC on Netgalley I'm not sure which I read. Unless maybe one ending was actually shocking/interesting, because I did not get that one!

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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent.

Holy cow, you have no idea when you start this quiet story with immediate creepy undertones, just how deep this drama goes!

Sally sees the world differently than most. While some might think that she is on the spectrum, it goes much deeper than that, and after her father passes away, she is finally able to learn more about herself. But learning about herself may bring people and chaos into her life that she's not ready for...

This is dark, twisted, sweet, funny, and so completely unexpected. I was on the edge of my seat more and more with every chapter that went by, and nothing will turn out the way you expected. Very captivating, very fresh, approach with caution.

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The book begins with Sally putting her father in the trash incinerator when he dies because she took him literally when he said "to put him out with the trash". What I started out thinking this would be about - a quirky woman with a different take on reality - turned out to be wrong. We delve into the live of Sally before she was adopted by her parents and the horrors her mother endured at the hands of a pedophile and the man responsible. Impossible to believe but it's also a story of personal growth and Sally being able to turn her life into something unexpected because of the good people around her.

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𝘼 𝙬𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙙𝙡𝙮 𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙠, 𝙩𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙮 𝙤𝙗𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙣𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙡 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙜𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙪𝙣𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙩.

I didn’t have this book on my radar and wasn’t planning on reading it, but everyone kept raving about it so I decided to pick it up from NetGalley - and oh my, it’s definitely worth the hype.

I do think this one is best going into not knowing too much. It’s eerie, disturbing, and completely horrifying. I haven’t read anything from this author, but I’m definitely going to from now on. Again, go into this not knowing much.

I wasn’t expecting to care for Sally Diamond as much as I did, but I was getting emotional with everything she was going through. Her childhood was so dark and disturbing.

I honestly couldn’t put this book down. It picked up from early and I kept wanting to know what would happen next. While the ending wasn’t my favorite, I can’t deny this book is spectacular in so many ways. Yes, it’s very disturbing, but it’s scary how this can become a reality.

This book was incredible, I’m only giving it four stars because I didn’t love the ending too much. However, there’s no doubt this will be a favorite book for so many!

**Fair warning: there are heavy themes of abduction, captivity, misogyny, and sexual & physical abuse.

Thank you so much NetGalley and Gallery Books for the review eARC in exchange for my honest review!

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A true 5 star work of crime fiction is few and far between, and Strange Sally Diamond is that kind of book.

I Loved this so much. I think Liz Nugent is such a smart writer. There's a reason that CRH names her as one of HER favorite Irish crime writers. Nugent's Unraveling Oliver was really, really good.

But Strange Sally Diamond takes her work to the next level in ever single way.

I went into this book totally blind, purely on the emphatic recommendation of Elizabeth Barnhill. I'm so glad I did it this way because what we find here is excellent but it's also totally it's own thing. I fell head over heels in love with lead character Sally from the very beginning. She is is neuro-divergent due to the trauma of her past but that is not the whole story of this character. It's a testament to Nugent's great writing that she was able to not only give us a layered, realistic story of a victim's healing, but did that without every taking her foot off the gas of the mystery portion of this book. This is not easy to do, but the net effect is what we'd call "crime fiction and" or "mystery plus". A great mystery to follow, along with heartwrenching, gut punches of pitch perfect emotion.

Every review I've seen has raved about this story, so I know I'm not alone. In fact, it's currently sitting at a 4.4 rating on GoodReads. If there's one element that will, I think, potentially divide people, it's going to be the ending. But to me, Liz Nugent absolutely nailed the perfect way to end such a complex story. I absolutely loved. it.

Now, I did sit for a few minutes after in silence just taking it in. And thought about that night as I was going to sleep. I think the ending was exactly right.

This is what I'd call literary mystery. It's just working at a level that is so far above a standard popcorn thriller. This is exactly the kind of novel I love to read and love to recommend. And you can bet it's going to be a top book of my year.

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Whew, Strange Sally Diamond was a wild ride of a book! Part thriller, part character study. Her dad always joked that they should just put him in the trash when he dies. Sally being neurodiverse did just that not understanding that it was not the correct way to do things. Sally's story ignites a media frenzy.

Sally has led an isolated life being raised by her adoptive parents. Her mother died a few years ago and until his death, Sally lived with her father in an isolated house in Ireland. Sally doesn't like to have conversations with strangers, in fact she pretends to be deaf to avoid talking to people. The hoopla from the fallout of the media story unearths secrets from Sally's past. The book is part Eleanor Oliphant and part Room.

Author Nugent does a great job telling the story from multiple points of view. The characters are interesting and keep your attention, and it is nice to follow Sally's character arc throughout the novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this wild ride!!

4.5 stars

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This is one of those books that I finished and just sat there blinking for a minute trying to figure out what exactly I just read. This book twisted in so many directions and had so many amazing lines. I’ll admit this book was horrifying at times and portrayed abuse pretty explicitly (emotional/physical was explicit more than the sexual but it’s all a part of the story). Sally Diamond is a completely unique character and I liked her despite all of her social oddities. The story starts with Sally attempting to burn her dead father with the rest of the rubbish since he told her many times to just throw him away with the trash when he died. This of course started some chaos which only let to more twists and turns and craziness. This is a book that will stick with me. And because I heard there are two endings it will stick with me and drive me nuts to know what was different in the UK version.

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Liz Nugent, this was an awesome book! I was immediately engrossed in the story and was kept guessing the entire way through. I was definitely in Sally’s Diamond’s corner the entire way through. She was so flawed, but yet wonderful in spite of all she had been through in her past.

Sally Diamond’s story begins when her father dies. She takes his instructions for death literally, which causes her to be thrust into the media spotlight. Luckily Sally has some people who look out for her and help her throughout the media circus and gently guide her as she finds out the harrowing secrets of her past.

Meanwhile, because of Sally’s name being in the media, a renewed search is on for the man who was responsible for the chaos of her life. Sally becomes afraid her will find out where she lives. Some men do find her, but it’s not who you would think.

The ending of the story was so creepy, but appropriate. And, clever Liz Nugent just might have left an ending that needs a sequel. I loved the book and noticed I have an unread book by Nugent sitting on the shelf, so I’m anxious to read that one soon!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books, Scout Press for allowing me to read an advance copy. I am pleased to offer my honest review and recommend this to other readers who enjoy mystery/thriller and crime novels.

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Strange Sally Diamond was different from most books I usually read. It kept me guessing and tugged at my heart strings. 4 solid stars.

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This was the most interesting suspense novel of the summer. I did not know if I should label Sally as neurodivergent as it was clear her childhood trauma caused much of her behavior as well as her isolation from people. She is one of the most thought provoking characters of the year. I do not want to completely reveal the plot of the book- you should go into it blind, and know that just when you think the plot has reached its plateau, something new will occur or a new character may appear to tantalize with yet another subplot. The book is amazing and exposes the best and worst aspects of people. You will also wonder about how Sally is doing long after you finish reading her story.

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Liz nugents psychological dramas and thrillers have established her as an auto read author for me. I had a lot of hope going into strange sally diamond and the vague description only lured me in and built the hype even more.

Strange sally diamond is the story of a socially detached woman named sally who catches media attention for bringing her adopted fathers body after he dies. What unfolds from there is the tale of Sally’s biological family and past and weaves back and forth in time tracking the tragedy in this family. It is a story of trauma and resilience. While not your typical psychological thriller you will be hooked turning the pages and feeling deep empathy for sally as she adjusts to a new life with the knowledge coming out about who she is.

A worthwhile read and recommended to any fan of nugents previous work!

Thank you to the publisher for providing this arc via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Liz Nugent has become one of my favorite authors. Always compelling stories, and beautifully written. Strange Sally Diamond is no different.
Dark and disturbing, we watch as Sally tries to find her place in this world after incredible trauma.

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There’s so much here. I’ve read some reviews that said Sally’s behavior didn’t match the rest of the horrors of the book. I, though, was taken back to a student I had 15 years ago. Her behavior was strange. The meeting with her parents still leaves me feeling cold. Yeah, Sally’s behavior is right in line with everything we discover. The last I heard of this student, regardless of how her parents were trying to help her, was lighting her bed on fire. It is impossible to predict what scars abuse will leave. Sally’s were worse because she didn’t know where they came from and was never taught ways to cope with them.

This was not what I was expecting. I was expecting another book about a person on the spectrum who is forced out of their shell by circumstances and meets a group of people who help them along and become their new family. There was a little of this in there. Sometimes you request a book and then forget the description by the time you get it and read it. I wasn’t prepared, but I’m kind of glad I wasn’t. The shock should be there. The absolute anger and disgust should be there. I didn’t go in prepared to steel myself against it.

Strange Sally Diamond is powerful. It has stayed with me since I finished it a few days ago. People will be talking about this one.

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What a book! I could not out this down. It was so well written and so well connected. The characters were fascinating and thought out. Sally Diamond went through the most harrowing yet human journey I have read in a long time.

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When Sally Diamond’s father tells her to put him out with the trash when he dies, she takes him literally. Sally has always been considered a bit of an outcast, preferring to be alone and typically unsure of herself in social situations. Attempting to burn her father’s remains is just par for the course, giving her neighbors even more to talk about. But when secrets about Sally’s childhood begin to come out after her father’s death, it seems Sally is the last one to know the truth about who she really is. Just as Sally begins to work through her trauma and form relationships with those around her, she starts receiving messages from someone in her past.

I loved the way Liz Nugent brought these characters to life and explored the psychological effects of trauma and abuse. Somehow she managed to balance this dark and twisted story with just a touch of humor and an endearing main character.

Thank you to Netgalley, Gallery Books, and Scout Press for the arc!

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Holy cow!

I received a digital copy of this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher but somehow it never made it to the top of my TBR stack - probably because it was a digital copy. That is quite unfortunate because it’s one of the best books I’ve read all year.

Sally Diamond’s dad told her to put him out with the trash when he died and, being a completely literal thinker, she did. When this was discovered, it set off a chain reaction that uncovered layers and layers of fascinating backstory. Sally isn’t who the reader assumed she was in the first few chapters. Her unique personality is the result of something else entirely.

The good thing about not reading this before publication is that you don’t have to wait to read it. Go find it.

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Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the digital ARC of ”Strange Sally Diamond” in exchange for my honest opinion. I really loved Sally from the very beginning. She starts off as a seemingly quirky character, but you learn that her behaviors are the result of a much darker past. One that she does not remember. Maybe it is because I already read a book this month about a man who kidnapped and tortured women, but I feel this novel would have been much better without the chapters from Peter. I don’t feel like those chapters were necessary and the story of both him and his father could have been revealed in less detail and in a different way, perhaps through those doing the research for the podcast. Personally I would have enjoyed just reading about Sally and her journey through life.

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