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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  388 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The beginning of a relationship is usually all about getting to know each other, sharing stories far into the night, comparing experiences, triumphs and heartaches, until we know one another inside out.

Not so for Dave and Alena. He's from London, she's from Siberia. They meet in a sleek Bond Street department store in the frayed heat of high summer, where she's up to no go
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Chatto & Windus
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  388 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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You rarely come across those authors who have the ability to pull you into his/her story so easily and blend us among one of his/her characters so casually. Kerry Hudson is definitely one such author who knows how to make her readers believe that her naive protagonist who is a full-grown adult woman having a dream and goal of her own, has easily been sweet-talked to work in the flesh-trade in London. I believed it and I loved the way Kerry Hudson has put the spotlight into the situation, well, i ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it

3.5 Stars!

“If you try to run I will hurt you - do you understand? If you scream, I will hurt you. I can do horrible things to you and no one will know. No one will care. I have done them before. Do you understand?”

This is a low-key love story that would be befitting of a Ken Loach or Andrea Arnold movie, but the quality of Hudson’s prose gives it an added sheen in many parts. There is some lovely detail in here and she has a really nice way with words, as well as a gift for story-telling, but as
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kerry Hudson is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. I read Tony Hogan... earlier this year and loved it so Thirst was right at the top of my wish list and I was delighted when I won a copy in a competition on Twitter.

It's a fantastic read. Essentially it's a love story, but don't expect any soppy chick-lit style romance - it's raw and heartbreaking (and sometimes it's tender and funny too). I'm not a blubber at heart, but I couldn't get through it with totally dry eyes.

Kerry Hudson writes
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, britain, read-2018
Oh lord... I thought this was going to be a cute holiday read, then suddenly I was crying on the train.
Simon Booy
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this at the Edinburgh Book Festival and loved it. Beautifully written and funny...
Lisa Bentley
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
Russian born Alena has decided to leave her country to come to the UK to find work. Like many migrants, Alena believes that the answer to hers and her family’s financial woes lies in the opportunity laden London. Having had her work placement set up by a family friend Alena travels to the UK full of optimism and dreams of a better life that includes financial stability, opportunity and designer clothes. What Alena isn’t prepared for is that her dream is a fallacy. Nor is she prepared for her dre ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Completely unexpected excellence. We are dragged into the lives of two very real, very ordinary people. If you're looking for a classic romance look elsewhere. This book is raw emotion, real life with none of the usual cliches that are usually splashed all over the pages of 'unconventional' romance novels. ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
I've now read enough crime novels that a girl's quest to free herself from being kidnapped is not particularly exciting in itself. Fortunately few people have to go through the ordeal and suffer a first-hand experience, but it does mean that in fiction they all blend into one fairly stock plot, and the rest of the novel didn't win me over.

Part of this was the story itself which was, despite the events referenced above, a bit dull. There were three threads, the couple's individual flashbacks and
Pamela Scott

I’m a big fan of Hudon’s work and have been really looking forward to reading this. This is one of the books I’ve meant to read for ages but somehow never got round to. I’m so glad I finally read it. I loved this book. Dave and Alena are an unconventional couple. Dave is from the UK, working two jobs to make ends meet and struggling to get over his mother’s death. Alena is an illegal immigrant from Siberia. I loved the way their relationship develops. Dave
Stephanie Pâquet
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Woah. okay. This isn't a 'fun' read', the topics (sex trafficking, cancer, poverty....gosh NAME IT) are incredibly painful but yet, I couldn't put that book down and read it non-stop in one evening. It didn't really leave me smiling at the end, as it isn't your typical HEA but the book is RAW, you feel for the characters and the author is obviously very talented. Drama isn't usually my cup of tea so I can't say that's a book I'd read again and again, especially since it leaves you feeling kinda ...more
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I couldn't finish this book for the life of me! I called it quits about a third of the way in because I can't stand this style of writing! It jumps back and forth between the past and present at a very choppy pace that keep my head spinning. Sometimes I couldn't even tell where I was in time because there would be a flashback within a flashback. I loved the premise, and the characters had potential, but what made for a very dramatic and moving story became BLAH though the storytelling technique ...more
Vickie Taylor
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Smith
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this book utterly gripping from just a few chapters in. It kept me awake at night until I had finished it: complex but compelling characters; a plot full of surprises; and I found I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Kerry Hudson is a wonderful writer, and had written about some difficult topics with care and compassion. A brilliant book.
Wendy Burke
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Thirst after reading Kerry Hudson's incredible debut novel, 'Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma'. Thirst is excellent too, wonderfully crafted. It's a gripping and heartbreaking story of a love between two damaged people who struggle to overcome the odds stacked against them. Very impressive writing. Can't wait to read more from Hudson. ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
It wasn’t bad but I couldn’t get into the story.
I had trouble with all the flashbacks of his story then her story then present all mingled in the same chapter.
I finished it but it will not mark my memory.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
So so depressing. While reading some descriptions I’ve really struggled ( I particularly disliked details about smells...)
Maybe that was the intention of the author but for me it was definitely too much.
Tiziana Cormio
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of those books you can't put done. Very well written. Can not wAit to read more from Kerry HUDSON. ...more
Jennifer Barclay
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Not sure about the last section, but otherwise amazing.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I sometimes randomly pick up books at the library and once in a while I come up with a real gem like this one. I loved it although it was a tough story.
Aude Mouton
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The love story is a bit hard to believe but the charcaters are full of troubles and deep questions
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars...
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dave is a security guard in a Bond Street store. He earns a pittance and lives above a kebab shop in Hackney. He's in a bit of a rut; his life as uneventful as ever before he stops a theft on his job. Alena has tried to leave the shop wearing a pair of shoes she hasn't paid for. She's from the bleak expanse of Siberia, lured to London by a woman with a Chanel handbag and hopes for western wealth. On first glance, she thinks he is cute and he finds her beautiful. Dave decides not to prosecute Ale ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
A sweet love story combined with sex trafficking, alcohol abuse, poverty and cancer: not the most obvious of combinations, but this was a lovely book, ultimately uplifting. The bleaker elements were well handled; the writer doesn't shy away from the realities but she doesn't do grim just for the sake of it. She's interested in the way bad things in life affect the people they happen to, their life choices and their sense of themselves. The impact of the two main characters' pasts on whether they ...more
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book even if is sooo sad and depressive, problem was that it was a present; I wouldn't normally choose to read something about a nice Russian girl obliged to become a prostitute in London, but still there was some redemption somewhere along the book and the characters may had find some peace for each other.

Mi é piaciuto questo libro anche se di mia sponte non lo avrei mai letto, ma era un regalo e quindi.....Non morivo di voglia all'idea di leggere la storia di una brava ragazza rus
David Brook
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Simply put, this was everything I wanted from this and more. I loved "Tony Hogan" - writing from someone as they age was compelling. Here, the narrative is so well constructed - alternating between Dave and Alena's perspectives, and between the immediate past and the present in such a way that is natural and not jarring and that so many other authors could hope to emulate.

But regardless of whether it was lovely to read - and it was - the story is the strongest element, and every part of it feels
Bex Dawkins
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
If someone tried to sell me a book which combined both sex-trafficking and romance, I don’t think I’d be convinced. Yet Kerry’s startling talent brings to life the unconventional journey of Dave and Alena, in which I was completely hooked.

Dave meets Alena in a department store on Bond Street and despite their awkward beginnings and damaged pasts, they slowly gravitate towards each other on a journey which takes us from London to Siberia.

Kerry will be one of the writers of this generation to be r
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading Kerry Hudson's great first novel, 'Tony Hogan...', I wondered what she would do next. 'Thirst' is different, but also near-perfect in its own way. Hudson writes about marginalised people with warmth and empathy. With every detail she uncovers the hidden beauty of everyday life, and even her peripheral characters are compelling. At times, 'Thirst' is sad, even disturbing, but the tender romance between Alena and Dave reminds us that despite everything, life is not without hope. ...more
"Enjoyed" doesn't seem to be the best way to describe how I feel about Thirst. It was a good book, an excellent read and wonderfully told. It was difficult to read at times, but only because of the issues it touches on.
The writing was exceptional. I felt like I was watching it all as it happened, I could feel the summer heat, smell the smells and hear the noises.
Yes, it's a love story but it is so much more than that, too.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I happened on this book by accident and was really pleasantly surprised. The characters are intriguing throughout and I found myself really interested in what happened to them.

Perhaps understandably, there's more focus on Alena, her background and exactly what her situation is by the end of the book, but I did find myself wanting to know more about Dave - what had happened to Shelley afterwards?
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2014
What a powerful story. David shines as the most honourable and troubled man in fiction. Alena's story is heartbreaking. The correlation between the places they grew up is harsh and I was left considering what humans can survive. Loneliness, council estates, alcoholism, sex-trafficking, betrayal - the characters are dragged through all this. Remarkable story. ...more
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Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Growing up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life, and a love of travel.

Her first novel, TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE-CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA, was published by Chatto & Windus in Summer 2012. It has since been shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Sou

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