Beautiful, happy people? No.
Lucy is the most popular girl in the local elementary school of an idyllic Dutch housing estate. When a bizarre crime rocks her world and sends her mother to prison, Lucy is turned into an outcast and her childhood becomes an ordeal of constant, vicious bullying. After her mother’s release, Lucy’s family decides to escape and make a clean start on a rugged Scottish island. But even here, in this remote corner of the world, Lucy’s past holds a firm grip on her. Told in the alternating voices of the bullies and Lucy, this darkly atmospheric and emotionally gripping story is part family drama and part mystery.
May 21, 2019
“Less a murder mystery and more a disquieting reflection on how people construct their own versions of the truth…Frighteningly clever. The haunting landscapes Dorrestein creates are as real as they are darkly fantastical.”
“Just a remarkable book. Haunting characters, amazing voice, propulsive plot. I hope we see a lot more from Dorrestein. Count me among her fans.” —KAREN JOY FOWLER
“A stunning mixture of many genres. The criminal story provides popular, folkloric, parodic, and psychological hints of secret codes to solve the murder case.” —American Book Review
“An interesting study in how we intuitively know things aren’t right and how we cope with the lies and subsequent trauma; we are not so much in control of events, as we like to think we are.” —The Bookseller
“The plot holds tightly together, tempting the reader further to uncover the secrets hidden in later pages. Highly recommended.” —Dutch News
“What particularly appeals—and where her strength lies—is the drive that Dorrestein gives her characters. Their survival spirit and courage are unlimited, and their loneliness is therefore all the more tangible.” —De Volkskrant