The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore – book review


It is the winter of 1952, and Isabel Carey is struggling to adjust to the realities of married life in Yorkshire. Isolated and lonely, she is also intensely cold. And her husband – a doctor – is rarely home.

And then one night she discovers an old RAF greatcoat in the back of the cupboard. She puts it on her bed for warmth – and is startled by a knock at her window.

Outside is a young man. A pilot. And he wants to come in…

Overall plot

Isabel is a newlywed married to a doctor who is rarely home. Since moving to Yorkshire, Isabel spends much of her time alone. The flat is very cold and her landlord upstairs keeps walking around in the middle of the night. She finds a greatcoat in the wardrobe and throws it on the bed to keep her warm. While her husband is on a night shift, Isabel is startled by a knock at her window and discovers a young pilot outside the window, mouthing her name.


Ugh this book had so much potential! I was so looking forward to reading this after reading the synopsis. It sounded like a classic ghost story to keep you on your toes. Instead, it was a great disappointment.

First of all, The Greatcoat reminds me of The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. The lonely woman, the creepy house, a ghost etc. There were various similarities between the two and I’m not surprised because the sequel to The Woman in Black was also published by Hammer.

The only way I can describe this book is this: You know when you see a video on Youtube and you click on it and then you realise it was clickbait? That’s what this book was like.

However, I was intrigued and was enjoying the storyline up until chapter 6. It was fast-paced and spooky but the book sadly turned from a ghost story into a romance novel which may I remind you is in no way mentioned in the synopsis.


I really thought this one had a lot of potential if only the plot stayed on track after chapter 6. Up until then it was quite a good novel.

Rating: ⭐⭐

The Greatcoat is the second book from my Charity Shop book haul

4 thoughts on “The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore – book review”

  1. I hope you enjoy your next read, not all books appeal to everyone. I haven’t heard of this book before. Thank you for sharing your opinions xx

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