One more little secret
One more little lie….
[ About the Book ]
When the body of pregnant, 15-year-old Hope Lacey 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 revelations and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.
[ My Review ]
The Home by Sarah Stovell was published in paperback original with Orenda Books on January 22nd. It is described as ‘a gritty, dark and devastating psychological thriller…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.‘
The Home is a dark, dark read. The subject matter is difficult to comprehend. It is the story charting the many different kinds of abuse inflicted on three young girls and how they all came to live in a state-funded home located in an isolated setting in the The Lake District. One of these young girls, Hope Lacey, is tragically discovered dead in an old churchyard on Christmas morning. A cold bleak place for anyone to die but for a fifteen year old pregnant girl who was under state care for her own protection, this is a really shocking and violent discovery. What happened to Hope? Why was her young life cut so short?
Helen is the manager of The Home, a residential home for children that have nowhere else to go, that need close attention, constant monitoring. Helen receives the dreadful news on Christmas morning, immediately leaving her own family and making her way to The Home. On arrival Helen attempts to be as professional as she can but struggles to keep her emotions in check. Hope had her issues, of that there was no doubt, but Helen is perplexed, confused as to who would want Hope dead.
The other two residents of the home, Lara and Annie, are in shock. They have lived their lives surrounded by terror and cruelty and now, here in this place of sanctuary, that terror has followed them.
With the assistance of the local police force, Helen searches for clues, reasons for Hope’s death. In parallel with this, the reader is given glimpses into the past of all three girls.
The lives of Hope, Annie and Lara are tragic. The domestic, physical and sexual abuse inflicted over different periods of time is beyond shocking to read. These girls all recognised something in each other and these warped shared experiences bound them together in very intense and very unique ways.
“We could be together without others trying to part us, where no one would tell us we were too young, or too broken, or too fragile to know what we were doing.
Because we were young, it was true. We were fragile too.
But we weren’t fragile like flowers.
We were fragile like bombs“
Sarah Stovell writes sensitively and manages to convey the horrors of these young girls’ lives without too much graphic imagery. Yet there is enough power in the narrative and in the depiction of the scenes to make the reader extremely uncomfortable and very angry.
Injected with a mixed narrative, the reader is given an insight into the minds of the girls, giving a fascinating yet quite disturbing understanding of the mindset and the sense of hopelessness that they experience. These girls lives were destroyed from an early age before they ever arrived at The Home, the horror of their destiny was already written for them…..
The Home is a devastating read. Raw, stark and utterly heartbreaking. A challenging and compelling read, Hope, Annie and Lara will remain in the mind of the reader for a long time after turning that final page….
[ Bio ]
Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart.
She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University.
Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by Sunday Times.
Twitter ~ @sarahlovescrime