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The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer review – a powerful tale of loss

Beth is recently divorced and raising her daughter, Carmel, on her own in a small town in Norfolk, England. The novel, fast-paced and with a mosaic quality to the scenes, diverges both in form and narrative.


Hamer deftly develops child and woman. The two are woven together subtly: they both describe their loneliness as affecting their throats. They each call out to the other through the distance. However, the other characters feel more like haphazard plot constructions. Exquisite prose surrounding a mother and daughter torn apart, but the book could have used more attention to less detail.

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Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent! While the girl is strolling unscathed while murder and brutality happen all around her, we see other stories forming or ending, but even in a telephoto view the viewer cannot take his eyes off the little red-tinted girl. She is the purity, the innocence, walking unnoticed through the Nazis, and witnessing their every crime.

But the Nazis don't worry - at the end there will be no witnesses.. We do not know what has happened to her until much later. The Nazis are ordered to dig up all the Jewish corpses they have buried to incinerate the evidence of the slaughter of the Cracow ghetto.

As the decomposing corpses are trundled in wagons to the fires Oscar Schindler catch a glimpse of a red-tinted rag of a corpse. Th e use of color to follow the little girl in her red coat has by now achieved the stature of legendary. However, most people do not know that this image is based upon a true story, told at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the most feared and hated Nazi leaders of World War II, responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews.

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The deathcamps. When asked if there was any moment in the trial that affected him more than any other, this is the moment he describes.

Bach was questioning Dr. His little daughter wore the red coat. How would the boy, only twelve, find them among the thousands of people there?

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But then he realized the red coat would be like a beacon for the boy to join his mother and sister. He then ends his testimony with the chilling phrase, "I never saw them again". While telling the story, thirty-five years after the incident, Judge Bach wells up with emotion. As Dr. All he could do was think about his own daughter who he had by chance just bought a red coat.

In she won the Rhys Davies short-story prize and her short stories have appeared in various collections.


Kate now lives with her husband in Cardiff. Find out more about our upcoming events with Simon Armitage, Hanif Kureishi, Lavinia Greenlaw and other leading literary voices. Free to join. The perks. Sign up. Already a Member? Sign in here.


What Happened To The Girl In The Red Coat From Schindler's List?

The Girl in the Red Coat. Kate Hamer. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award Eight-year-old Carmel has always been different - sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing. Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel AwardEight-year-old Carmel has always been different - sensitive, distracted, with an heartstopping tendency to go missing.