Cuckoo is an incredibly more-ish read. Full to the brim with haunting moments that consume your mind, play with your nightmares and leave you hanging mid-air until the countdown to the final moments. This is a well-planned novel involving a family’s history with a good old dollop of horror thrown in for good measure.
‘There’s a stranger in your house…
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, short for Caroline, returns to her childhood home following the death of her stepmother, Elizabeth. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Caro as her and her boyfriend had recently parted ways, so the last place she wanted to be in is London. With Derby calling, it seemed to be the right path to take, so she takes the chance, and need for head space, to sort out her stepmother’s house before it is sold.
Caro is an illustrator for a living, and art really is her passion. I enjoyed her character, although a little needy at times, but you can clearly see that something (or someone!) has gnawed at her own self worth all these years, and I was keen to find out what.
Caro’s sister, Steph, is very successful and perhaps as a result is now trying to build bridges with Caro, as they haven’t had a relationship for a very long time. Does Steph feel sorry for Caro? She generously offers Caro her half of the house, as she doesn’t need the money. Is this guilt creeping in for not doing more all those years ago?
Caro’s relationship with her stepmother was certainly a strained one. A single pear-drum dominates what Caro remembers from her past, of which she has now unwillingly found in the attic. She refuses to go near it, so how does it keep appearing by her side? Who is playing tricks with her mind. What sorcery is going on?
Cuckoo is full of mesmerising chapters and scenes that submerge you into a world full of paranoia. Who can you trust? The tension and suspense heat up the pages and shock you into a frenzy. I devoured it and cannot believe that this is a debut, and a stunning one at that. I loved the fairytale theme throughout the beginning as they added real structure and emphasis to what we were in store for as a reader. I just can’t believe how disturbing real fairytales actually are.
Thank you to Sabah at Avon for inviting me onto the Blog Tour of which I have joined in with my honest opinions in return for a copy of the book.
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