Today I’m delighted to host the blog tour for the latest novel from Sarah Stovell, The Home.
A gritty, dark and harrowing psychological thriller, The Home is also a heartbreaking drama and a piercing look at the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live… if they are allowed to live at all…
When the body of a pregnant fifteen-year-old is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For she lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them, cloistered away…
As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations…and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.
Wow this is an incredibly moving novel, full of love, kindness, hatred, hurt, pain, self preservation, and evil. An everyday evil that has nothing to do with spirits or serial killers but an evil that is born from life experience. Sarah is a superb writer. She constructs stories that have the power to bring you to tears, break your heart, terrify you but keep you reading on. She writes beautifully and yet also has the sharp edges required to portray the harsh plot lines exploring a part of society that perhaps we prefer not to see. Visiting these damaged characters was an incredible experience. My heart broke for them and still they have stayed with me, as through their eyes I was reminded that even in the most dire of situations love can make the world a little brighter, if only for a short while.
The novel begins with a dead teenager and another who loved her fiercly and is left distraught. But what happened on that fateful Christmas eve? And who was resonsible. Sarah takes us through the story using multiple view points from the living and the dead. The lives of the three girls living at the care home are explored. We discover what brought them to this place where perhaps they have managed to find a little peace and hope, no matter how shortlived. There is not much joy to be found within this story but it is a stunning and powerful read. If you enjoy a dark, engaging thriller then I recommend The Home and if you’ve yet to discover the writing of Sarah Stovell then do seek out a copy of Exquisite too.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to the team at Orenda books for sending me an early copy. I was a big fan of Exquisite and was so excited to read this. It was another superb read from this exciting author.
The Home is available now on eBook and publishes in paperback on January 23rd.
About the author
Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by the Sunday Times.
You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @sarahlovescrime.
About the publisher
Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.
You can follow Orenda on Twitter at @OrendaBooks