#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2020
My day fifteen #bookvent selection was one of the first #redhotreads that I awarded in 2020. It’s hard to believe that it is pretty much a year since I read the book, but it is. There was just something about this book, the way in which the author set the scene and really drew out the emotional responses in me as a reader – both anger and sadness in some places – that secured the book a spot in my list. The story is hard to read at times, but is also a tale that rings far too true, wrapped up in a mystery that keeps you turning page after page in a race to the end. My fifteenth pick is …
The Home by Sarah Stovell
One more little secret … one more little lie…
When the body of a pregnant fifteen-year-old is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For Hope lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them cloistered away…
As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations … and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.
A gritty, dark and devastating psychological thriller, The Home is also an emotive drama and a piercing look at the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live … if they are allowed to live at all.
This was a book that really toyed with my emotions. With themes including grooming, abuse and neglect, it is not a read that will exactly leave you with the warm and fuzzies. But it is a carefully crafted world that Sarah Stovell leads us into, with rich imagery, a stark, often shocking storyline, and truly memorable characters who I found myself caring for no matter how difficult they may appear to be at first glance. This is the story of three girls who are living in the same remote children’s home in the Lake District. We are gifted a glimpse of their past – the exact reasons that they came to be in care – as well as the shocking story of their present lives, ones which are soon engulfed in tragedy. No matter their background, I found an affinity with each of the characters and an understanding of what made them tick – even if some backstories really did take me by surprise. the author’s style of writing really suits this book and she creates such a sense of isolation in the setting that mirrors the young girls’ lives. It adds to the tension and the sense of dread that builds as the story progresses. We know from the off what tragedy is set to befall the girls, we just don’t know how or why. That is carefully revealed in scenes that whilst feeling inevitable, still shock to the core.
A dark and intelligent character driven narrative, full of intense imagery and emotion, this book is definitely one you need to read. This was a one sitting read for me that had my head, and my heart, from the beginning.
To read my full review, you can find it here.
Happy #bookvent reading all