#BookReview Paper Cup by Karen Campbell @PGCBooks @canongatebooks #PaperCup #KarenCampbell #PGCBooks Title: Paper Cup

Author: Karen Campbell

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Sep. 19, 2022

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

What if going back means you could begin again?

Rocked by a terrible accident, homeless Kelly needs to escape the city streets of Glasgow. Maybe she doesn’t believe in serendipity, but a rare moment of kindness and a lost engagement ring conspire to call her home. As Kelly vows to reunite the lost ring with its owner, she must return to the small town she fled so many years ago.

On her journey from Glasgow to the south-west tip of Scotland, Kelly encounters ancient pilgrim routes, hostile humans, hippies, book lovers and a friendly dog, as memories stir and the people she thought she’d left behind for ever move closer with every step.

Full of compassion and hope, Paper Cup is a novel about how easy it can be to fall through the cracks, and what it takes to turn around a life that has run off course.


Poignant, heartwarming, and raw!

Paper Cup is a pensive, heart-tugging novel that takes us to Glasgow and into the life of Kelly, a homeless alcoholic estranged from her family who, after finding an engagement ring and witnessing a horrific accident, embarks on a journey south, meeting some interesting characters and visiting some historical places along the way, heading to Gatehouse of Fleet, Galloway to not only return the ring to its rightful owner but to finally confront the demons she fled from and the family she hasn’t seen in years.

The prose is rich and vivid. The characters are vulnerable, flawed, and troubled. And the plot is a memorable tale of unlikely friendships, familial drama, poverty, homelessness, addiction, guilt, compassion, honesty, survival, mental illness, kindness, and ultimately finding your way home.

Overall, Paper Cup is an astute, touching, compelling tale by Campbell that does a beautiful job of reminding us that family is not always those just related by blood but rather those who love, care, support, and accept us.


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Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


About Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a Scottish novelist and former police officer. She is the author of seven novels, most recently The Sound of the Hours, which was a Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month. She is a recipient of the Best New Scottish Writer Award and has led workshops for the Scottish Refugee Council, Amnesty, Moniack Mhor and Scottish PEN, among others. She has written for BBC Radio 3, Edinburgh International Book Festival and Glasgow Women’s Library, and was recently Writer in Residence at Dumfries and Galloway Council. She lives in Galloway, Scotland.

Photo courtesy of Canongate Website.

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