Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent ~ A Book Review

 Strange Sally Diamond is set to be the talk of the book world when it is published on July 18, 2023!

I love to read and I'm generally drawn to Historical Fiction and Cozy Mysteries.  But once in a while I like to stretch my boundaries and search for something completely new!  

Strange Sally Diamond caught my eye as a book that might interest me mainly because of the title.  We just found out that one of our grandchildren is on the Autism Spectrum, she can be a little strange sometimes and I thought I might learn something when reading this book.  Well, I did learn something for sure, but nothing that I had expected!  This book was a real eye-opener for me.

Strange Sally Diamond Book Cover

Well, it has nothing at all to do with Autism per se, but rather what happens when someone is so damaged early in life (by circumstances imposed on them) and how the human spirit helps (or hinders) the very fragile psyche of the individual in the outer world.

Strange Sally Diamond is that girl.  She has a horrific childhood that she cannot remember.  At the tender age of 7 she is adopted by the very people who "found" her.  So damaged was her mind, that no one was considered capable of caring for this youngster.  So the psychologist and the medical doctor (The Diamonds) who were working with her, were granted guardianship of this young girl and adopted her.

Sally is a reclusive person, by nature of where she has come from and what she has been through, and encouraged to be so by her "new family".  Much media attention followed her for many years after she was first rescued.  In order to help her the Diamonds decide to live in the country away from media attention while Sally grows up.

She has a loving relationship (in her mind) with her new mom and dad as they don't make too many demands on her personally.   She is home schooled and doesn't have too many friends.  Sally's problems begin when she tries to incinerate her father after his death in their home. He left instructions for her and she followed them to the letter!   Media frenzy ensues as Sally is arrested for this "crime" and she's no longer protected by the confines of the family home.  She only has a couple of really good family friends who have been with her from the time of her arrival on the family 's farm.  

watering plants

Stepping out into the world for the first time Sally must learn to navigate a world she does not know or understand and really has not been a part of for most of her life.  Her new mom and dad had sheltered her completely.  After mom's death, dad kept her even more isolated from the "outside world".  But then he died too.......

The twists and turns in this book are enough to keep you turning the pages.  What is "normal"  and how do you help someone who is NOT part of that very narrow definition?

Sally has some help, but she also has a lot to learn both about the present, the past and the future.

You can pre-oder this book through Amazon and it will be published July 18 of this year.  It is a page turner and if you enjoy mind bending books, this one will keep you totally captivated.

I'm going back to re-read it once again, it is that good.  Mark your calendar or pre-order the choice is yours, but you will not regret reading this book!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. This storyline sounds fascinating, Olivia. Thanks for telling me about this new book coming out.

  2. As I was reading your review, I was taken by your comment about normal "part of that very narrow definition". That is so true! It is very narrow and anyone who doesn't fit within that narrow definition is considered strange. I would imagine this book gives us much to think about. Perhaps, even challenges us to be kinder to people who do not fit our definition of "normal". Thanks for this intriguing review and book recommendation.

    1. We do get hung up on our own ideas of what is "Normal" and that is not everyone's truth. Seeing things from a different perspective broadens our core beliefs and hopefully helps us with understanding and empathy!

  3. Olivia, this sounds like a wonderful book on the importance of tolerance, understanding, acceptance, empathy and inclusion, things our world needs much more of these days. Thank you for introducing us to this thought-provoking book..

    1. It certainly makes you take a step back and realize that we can't possibly know anyone's back story. Hopefully it will help many people with some empathy for others and their difficulties.

  4. Olivia Thanks for a compelling review. Sounds really intriguing.

    1. It is Mary Beth and certainly a different genre than I am used to! Compelling reading for sure.

  5. WOW! This book sounds amazing - although books, life, or anything where children suffer is unbearable for me to watch. Even in a book that's not real, I my heart aches for children who suffer. It's actually physically painful for me. I feel it. However, your review took me in, and I would probably try and get through this one! What a great movie this would make!

    1. I hear you Barbara, it is a difficult book in that sense, but still worth reading. Being pulled in mentally, emotionally and even physically makes this book great! Sometimes we need our worlds to be shaken up a bit and this book will do that for sure.

  6. This book sounds a compelling read and that it will tug at the heart as well. It shows how much we need understanding and empathy in this world. Thank you for your excellent review and recommendation.

    1. It is a compelling read for sure Raintree Annie and yes, the world could use so much more understanding and empathy and I'm all for a book that makes us look at ourselves and then our surroundings.


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