Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Cuckoo by Sophie Draper! My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Caro returns to her childhood home after the death of her stepmother, Elizabeth. Their relationship had always been a fraught one and they hadn’t seen each other in years. Caro’s memories of her childhood are somewhat patchy in places but going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths things she may not wish to remember at all. Why do the villagers dislike her so much? Why did Elizabeth hate her?
Strange things start to happen around the house. As an illustrator for children’s books, Caro has a vivid imagination so I was never quite sure if what she saw was actually there. Are these memories struggling to resurface or is it a bad case of paranoia? With an entire village against her and a sister on the other side of the world, is there anyone Caro can trust?
Cuckoo has an intensely unsettling atmosphere throughout. The story starts with someone in hospital but the reader doesn’t know who the patient is or how they got there. I quickly found myself intrigued, trying to unravel this mystery. Now, this is quite a slow-paced book and at times, for me personally, a bit too slow. That said though, the latter part of the book more than made up for that!
Of course, there are some twists and turns. Some I saw coming, others not at all. There are quite a few family secrets waiting to be unraveled and there’s a constant feeling of isolation that almost made me feel claustrophobic and it all leads to a rather unnerving conclusion. If slow-burning gothic mysteries are your thing, this slightly creepy read will be right up your street!
Cuckoo is available to buy!
Sophie Draper is a Derbyshire based author. Cuckoo is her first book and won the Bath Novel Award 2017. She also won the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. A second book is due to be published later in 2019.
Author links : Twitter