Originally published: 29 November 2018
Author: Sophie Draper
Published by: Avon Books
Length: 400 pages
Reading dates: 27-30 November 2018
When Caro’s stepmother Elizabeth dies unexpectedly in a freak accident, Caro and her sister Steph are reunited for the first time in almost 20 years. Steph declares no interest in their parents old farmhouse in a remote Derbyshire village, and the opportunity to move there comes at the perfect time in Caro’s life. Caro’s work as illustrator means she can be flexible where she works and she has just been commissioned to produce the artwork for a dark collection of fairy tales.
But going back to the farm, unearths memories Caro had wiped from her mind. The girl’s father died when they were very young so they were brought up by their stepmother Elizabeth who was cruel, especially to Caro. She owned a pear drum and told Caro a fairy tale (called The Pear Drum, also known as The New Mother) about two little girls, taunting her and encouraging her bad behaviour.
Within days of returning, Caro gets a rude reception from the villagers and is grateful when her neighbour Craig is friendly to her. Soon they are snowed in and strange things start happening in the house. Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much and gradually pieces together the truth.
This was a atmospheric and creepy book, which kept me as intrigued as Caro about her past! The text is interspersed with dark fairy tales which were fascinating and added to the disturbing nature of the book. The isolation of the house, and the bad weather also add to the eerie feeling. I loved how we gradually find out the truth about what went on as Caro’s memories come back and I truthfully had no idea where the book was heading.
A great psychological thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for inviting me to be on the blog tour which continues until 15th December. Be sure to check out these other reviews!
About the author:
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. She perform stories (under the name Sophie Snell) for all ages – fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends. A second book is due to be published later in 2019.