Paper Cup by Karen Campbell – Book Review

Paper Cup by Karen Campbell – Book Review

Paper cup by Karen Campbell

Paper Cup

I received a free copy of this book.
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Everyone deserves a second chance.
You just have to take the first step.

Rocked by a terrible accident, homeless Kelly needs to escape the streets of Glasgow. Maybe she doesn’t believe in serendipity, but a rare moment of kindness and a lost ring conspire to call her home, returning to the small town she fled so many years ago.

Review by Stacey

Paper Cup is told in the third person and focuses on a homeless young female called Kelly. Set in Scotland, the book opens with a bride-to-be descending on the park bench where Kelly is trying to sleep. The woman is extremely drunk and has lost her hen party. When the hens eventually find her they donate some money to Kelly but in the haste to get going the bride’s engagement ring is left with the cash.

After trying to part with the ring but not being able to, Kelly suddenly has a purpose, to return the ring to the rightful owner, unfortunately, this takes her back to her hometown a place she swore she would never return to.

Paper Cup, for me, was quite a hard and slow read. It is written in Scottish dialect and sometimes I failed to understand the words, however, it is also a poignant, harrowing, yet incredible read.

I’m not sure you will find a better novel featuring a homeless young woman and hearing everything she goes through daily, from being treated like she is a thief, scum, a nobody or just being invisible to most people who walk by her, Kelly has it tough but she would rather endure this than return to her home.

The descriptions of not only what it is like to be homeless but the beautiful Scottish landscape were so vivid to the mind’s eye. This is a book that will touch your heart and open your eyes at the same time. It is quite simply a beautiful, moving story that will stay with you long after you close the pages.

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Karen Campbell


Karen Campbell is the author of eight novels. A former police officer, then Glasgow City Council press officer, she won the Best New Scottish Writer Award in 2009. She also teaches creative writing and has worked with young offenders, homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers, and was recently Writer in Residence at Dumfries and Galloway Council. She lives in Galloway.

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