The Home – Sarah Stovell

A dark and emotive thriller which shines a light on the troubling issue of children in care, The Home marks the return of Sarah Stovell, author of the 2017 international bestseller Exquisite.

When the body of pregnant, fifteen-year-old Hope Lacey is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For Hope 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.

A dark and devastating psychological thriller, The Home is also a heartbreaking and insightful portrayal of the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live … if they are allowed to live at all.

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 Sunday Times.

My Review:

I absolutely adored Sarah Stovell’s last book EXQUISITE, published by Orenda Books (see my review here) and couldn’t wait to read her next book, but unfortunately I had to wait.. and wait.. and finally almost two years since her exquisite EXQUISITE (see what I did there!) The Home lands on my kindle (thanks to Orenda and Anne Cater) so I ignore the family, get comfortable with a hot drink and a chocolate biscuit and start to read.

The Home is a simply STUNNING character driven story that gets right under the readers skin and burrows itself  into the readers minds and thoughts so deeply that it’s almost impossible to put down.  The Home is a children’s home, housing 3 young troubled and emotionally damaged teenage girls; Annie, Hope and Lara situated in the depths of the Lake District.

These girls have seen and experienced things during their childhood that no-one should ever see and now they are being cared for at The Home, trying to fight the demons of their past.  The story begins on Christmas morning when the two older girls, Annie and Hope are found some distance away from the home, one of the girls is dead and the other won’t leave her side.  Her grief is heartbreaking and the reader is then taken on a really uncomfortable, disturbing journey to find out what happened to these vulnerable girls and why one of them has died.

There are so many issues tackled in this story from child neglect, child abuse, grooming, self-harm, prostitution, that the reader is left gasping in places.  Sarah Stovell tackles these, often, taboo and trigger issues with sensitivity but never glosses over them, leaving the reader emotionally drained.

A brave and beautifully crafted book, once again Sarah Stovell has delivered a stunning story with heartbreaking characters.  Utterly spellbinding and one that will stay deep in my thoughts for a long time.

My thanks to Orenda and Anne Cater for the invitation to join the blog tour.  Please check out all the other bloggers listed below.

Find this book on Amazon