Published by Legend Press
Ebook & Paperback : 16 October 2017
Source : Advanced Reading Copy received from publisher
This is such a spellbinding and immersive read that it has been a pleasure to take part in this blog tour. I have my review for the tour spot and also Legend Press are generously offering a paperback copy as a giveaway. Entry details are below but first a little about the book.
| About the Book |
Five years ago, Susannah Harper’s son Joel went missing without a trace. Bereft of her son and then of her husband, Susannah tries to accept that she may never know for certain what has happened to her lost loved ones. But then, on the last night of Hull Fair, a fortune-teller makes an eerie prediction – on Christmas Eve, Joel will finally come back to her.
As her carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, Susannah is drawn into a world of psychics and charlatans, half-truths and hauntings, friendships and betrayals, forcing her to confront the buried truths of her family’s past where nothing and no one are quite as they seem.
| My Review |
Well this is one dark and twisted tale. Whether or not you believe in physics or fortune tellers, the atmospheric narrative of The Winter’s Child will hold you spellbound.
Susannah Harper is an extremely complex character and if I’m honest, not one that I particularly liked. Her son Joel was 15 when he went missing five years previously. Joel was the focus of Susannah’s world; he was not an easy child and had his own inner demons but she obsessively smothered and protected him, always taking his side, even at the expense of her marriage.
She has an obsession with consulting physics despite knowing that so many are frauds – she can’t stop herself even whilst denouncing them on her blog called ‘Life Without Hope’ in which she lays bare her innermost thoughts and fears. We see her dealing with the internet trolls whom she labels “The Monsters Among Us” – those who comment on her blog with false sightings and demands for money in return for information as to Joel’s whereabouts.
Her blog leads her to befriend Jackie, the mother of another missing boy. Both Susannah and Jackie are needy people and although they come from completely different backgrounds, their missing children are the one thing they have in common. Susannah thought she had found a friend but I thought their friendship was destructive and didn’t think it helpful for Susannah to be around her.
Susannah’s pain is laid bare, she thinks she sees Joel at random locations and goes rushing off after him, much to the distress of her sister Melanie who pleads with her to seek help. As Susannah spirals dangerously out of control, we can only watch and hope that somehow she is able to pull herself back to reality.
Susannah has never stopped searching for Joel over the previous five years. However it is an impulse visit to a fortune teller at a local fair that sets in motion her renewed mission to find the truth. She is told that Joel will return to her by Christmas. As the story progresses revelations come to light about Susannah’s marriage and the problems with Joel.
This is a book that requires concentration and needs to be read slowly so that each perfectly constructed sentence can be savoured. The characters are wonderfully drawn – there were some that I disliked, others that I felt sorry for and those that I mistrusted. The story goes back and forth in time to before and after Joel’s disappearance and is interrupted with extracts from the blog.
The Winter’s Child is a beautifully written story of love and obsession with a mystery at its heart. I haven’t read anything by Cassandra Parkin before (I’m asking myself why on earth not!) but I certainly won’t make that mistake again.
My thanks to Imogen at Legend Press for the ARC to review and for the invitation to take part in the tour.
I hope my review has tempted you to enter the competition to win a copy for yourself, please see the Rafflecopter box below to enter.
| About the author |
Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. She is the author of three novels, all published by Legend Press – The Summer We All Ran Away (2013), The Beach Hut (2015) and Lily’s House (2016) – as well as a short-story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), which won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories. Her work has also been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. The Winter’s Child is her fourth novel.
*** GIVEAWAY ***
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box to ensure that your entry is registered. The competition prize is for one paperback copy and sorry, but it is open to UK entrants only. The winner will be notified by Twitter and/or email once the giveaway has ended and I will ask for your postal details in order that these can be passed to the publisher. If a reply is not received within 72 hours then I reserve the right to pick another winner instead. Good luck 🙂