YOU READING GROUP
This month’s choice. By John Koski
This month’s book choice
Gripping, engrossing and surprising at every turn ROWAN COLEMAN
Kate Rafter, a celebrated war reporter, is a woman on the verge. Approaching 40, newly dumped by her married lover of ten years and just back from a harrowing assignment in Syria, she is in danger of losing her mind. She finds no respite from her problems when she returns to her childhood home on the Kent coast following the death of her mother. It’s a place Kate couldn’t wait to escape from as a teenager and going back revives painful memories of her drunkenly violent father, a baby brother who drowned and an alcoholic younger sister who still lives in the town, but has cut off contact. Only her brother-in-law shows any sympathy.
Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Kate copes by dosing herself with sleeping pills and wine, which only make matters worse. She becomes convinced that a child in the house next door is being abused, even though everyone insists there are no children living there. What unfolds in this gripping psychological thriller is a truly shocking story which echoes Kate’s damaged childhood and war-zone nightmares.
‘She is safe now. Free from her demons. Her final resting place is still and tranquil, a little watery pocket of calm. She would have liked that, I think to myself, as I watch a pleasure boat sail into the dock. She would have thought it appropriate. But as I watch her go, I am struck once again by the thought that’s been haunting me ever since she died. Of the two of us, how is it possible that I am the one who survived?’
After giving up ambitions of a career in music, Nuala Ellwood’s first novel, Soho 4am, about the aftermath of the London 7/7 bombings, was published in 2013 under her maiden name Nuala Casey (£7.99, Quercus). She comes from a family of journalists and My Sister’s Bones is dedicated to her father, Luke Casey, a former BBC presenter. Nuala reveals more about the background to the novel at youreadinggroup.co.uk, where you will also find suggested topics for your own book club discussion.