08 December 2023

The Ice Cream Girls


By Dorothy Koomson


A 2023 Top Rated Read

Teenagers Poppy and Serena find themselves inexorably linked when school teacher Marcus Halnsley enters their lives. At first he's charming and attentive but soon a darker side appears. When the girls witness a tragic event, their lives take very different directions. Years later, Poppy wants the truth to come out but Serena wants her past to remain hidden.

At times this was a very difficult read due to the subject matter — the grooming and abuse of young girls by a much older man. His methods are described in great detail and yes, it's shocking and very upsetting, but the author writes with empathy and doesn't glamorize his actions. In fact the writing is beautiful, emotional and extremely moving. Whilst I acknowledge it may be triggering for some readers, I loved the story and how it was told. A definite must-read.


  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Headline
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Author: Dorothy Koomson
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction


As teenagers Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ by the press and were dealt with by the courts.

Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while married mother-of-two Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried – and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again...

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