by Lisa Harding
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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 20 Jun 2023
“Shocking—and shockingly good. It is thought-provoking, anger-provoking, guilt-provoking, and—most importantly—it is a brilliantly written novel.”—Roddy Doyle
Thrown together by a harrowing twist of fate, two girls will find hope and redemption in friendship in this award-winning, emotional gut punch of a novel from the author of Bright Burning Things.
Sassy, streetwise Sammy is a teenage girl who is falling through the cracks. Neglected by an alcoholic mother, the problems she endures at school and home lead her into the hands of adults who don't have her best interests in mind. Failed by them at every turn, Sammy acts out, seeking attention from boys, then men, when what she wants most is protection.
Meanwhile, in a small village in Eastern Europe, preternaturally beautiful and naïve Nico is about to turn thirteen and as her family falls upon desperate times, her father is approached to marry her off. Her family knows that the nice life this stranger seems to be offering Nico is too good to be true, but they and Nico hope for the best as she’s shuttled across the border into Ireland, where she and Sammy find one another in their new home, a suburban brothel.
As Nico and Sammy journey into this dark underbelly and out the other side, their friendship—and the unexpected acts of kindness they give and receive—form a potent bond.
Heartbreaking and breathtakingly beautiful, Cloud Girls exposes the failings of polite society and the cruelty that exists beneath its surface, yet reminds us that goodness and love can flourish in the darkest times.
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