Herring Girl Reviews

Herring Girl Reviews2018-07-09T11:58:45+00:00

Here are some excerpts from recent reviews of Herring Girl. To read the full text, just follow the links. If you have read and (hopefully) enjoyed the novel yourself, do please pay a visit to its listing on Amazon and add a comment


‘This powerfully atmospheric novel absolutely enthralled me… It’s brilliantly plotted, beautifully written, full of memorable characters and steeped in so much local flavour you can almost taste the kippers’  Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

‘A fine historical novel. Taylor is superb at voices from another, or any, age. Annie is utterly convincing, her voice full of the required detail to pass her off as authentic, making her live for us on the page’  Lesley McDowell, Scotland on Sunday

‘Like nothing you’ve read before’  Grazia

‘An engaging and detailed historical mystery… [with] stunning historical and linguistic accuracy… part historical thriller and part emotional drama’  Publishers Weekly

‘Part psychological thriller, part historical drama, it’s a great read’  WeightWatchers Magazine Book of the Month

‘A sort of historical/time-slip/romantic/crime-thriller which takes in past-life regression therapy, free-diving, the politics of over-fishing, and transgender rights, and of course Taylor researched every thread personally, including learning to dive and being regressed under hypnosis. The extent to which it succeeds is a tribute to her skill and also to the amount of research she put in’  Katy Guest, Independent

‘Evokes the fishy world of North Shields in great dialogue and detail, without intruding on the human drama that gives the book its energy. A great book for historical fiction readers’  Kirkus Reviews

‘this big adventure story by the author of Hungry Ghosts, with its authentic historical setting, compelling characters, and canny observations about the changing fishing scene, is an enthralling read’  Barbara Love, Library Journal

‘It is not necessary to believe in reincarnation to enjoy Taylor’s story. She writes with such verve and conviction that it is easy to suspend disbelief and enjoy every moment of this gripping tale’  Shirley Whiteside, Book Oxygen

‘I’m still reeling, and rather weepy… Having come to the novel as a gender studies scholar and as someone who relates to and promotes gender fluidity, I was uncomfortable with the idea of interpreting gender non-conformity as being related to unresolved issues in a past life. But then something happened: I decided to trust Debbie Taylor and to go with her on her journey of a paranormal treatment of gender, rather than resisting it because it did not seem to match exactly my own theory and ideology’  Jessica Mason McFadden, Gender Focus

‘Wow, just wow! Herring Girl was simply amazing. I really love it when you receive a book that is not entirely well-known and it turns out to be the best you’ve read. One major incident had me crying for a full half an hour’  A Book and Tea

‘If your Reading Group is looking for a read that will divide opinions and get people talking, then this is one I would recommend. This is not just a story of past lives, it is also a story of a long forgotten era when Scots lasses would travel down the east coast following the herring fleet, ‘gipping’ the herring in all weathers on the quayside. Debbie Taylor’s meticulous research brings all this, and more, to life. An enthralling read, full of colourful characters, both in the present and the past’  Carole Colbert, Good Reads

‘It’s that edge of strangeness and curiosity that makes this book so much more than ‘just’ a historical novel. Herring Girl is one of those rare books that straddles genres, but does it in such a way that it feels subtle and ‘right’. I can’t imagine the book any other way, or any other book like it for that matter. It is a beautiful, skilled book and a thoroughly riveting read’  Wendy Pratt, Northern Soul

‘Her characters are vibrant, bright and believable. Characters from the late 19th Century are just as well evoked as those in the 21st century. You can feel the depth of research that has gone into this novel, from the historical elements to the psychoanalytical and those relating to gender issues’  Beth Townsend, Plastic Rosaries

‘Part historical saga, part psychological mystery, Debbie Taylor’s book is a gripping story about how the past can never truly be lost. Extensively researched, even the more far-fetching coincidence’s in Ben’s life are given plausibility and her characters are lively and captivating’  Tracy Enyon, We Love This Book

‘Wonderful. Conjures up the past with such visceral intensity that you feel as if you are there’ Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus

‘A vividly imaginative, sensuous and atmospheric novel’  Helen Dunmore, author of The Siege