Outside By Sarah Ann Juckes, Penguin Random House, $21 ..
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It’s hard to review this fine story without spoilers creeping in.
Ele, short for Elephant, is held captive in a small, dark room by ‘Him’. She believes there’s a world Outside, even though she has no real concept of an outside. And when she finds a hole in the wall, reality begins leaking in.
This is a dark and mysterious tale, a debut novel from Juckes who brings an intriguing new voice. Young Ele is a strong soul, with a sense that there is more to her limited world with the Others.
This is described as a young adult novel, but fortunately I didn’t read that before I read the book. It’s a grown-up story with adult concepts — grief, abuse, kidnapping. Juckes is a writer to watch.