On a leafy street in the quiet village of Bishopthorpe there lives a very ordinary and averagely dysfunctional happy family. Peter Radley is the village doctor, and his wife Helen is part of the local book club. Their children, Clara and Rowan, may be experiencing all the hormonal anguish of being teenagers. . . but that’s only a normal part of growing up. However, Peter and Helen have kept from the children a life-changing family secret.
One night, when Clara finds herself driven to committing a bloodthirsty act of violence, her parents react with resignation rather than horror. Peter and Helen must now explain things to their children: why it is that their skin is so sensitive to sunlight, why they all find garlic so repulsive, why Clara’s recent decision to go vegan has been so detrimental to her health . . . and other disadvantages of being a family of abstaining vampires.
Reeling from their parents’ revelation, and with the police closing in, Clara and Rowan are stunned by the further discovery that they also have an uncle, a smooth-talking and decidedly active vampire who has been kept away from them all their lives. But when he swoops into the village to save the day, he unleashes a host of shadowy and even darker secrets that will bring the whole Radley family either to reconciliation and readjustment . . . or to self-destruction.
This witty vampire novel from British author Haig (The Possession of Mr. Cave) provides what jaded fans of the Twilight series need, not True Blood exactly, but some fresh blood in the form of a true blue family. Dr. Peter Radley and his wife, Helen, have fled wild London for the village of Bishopthorpe, where they live an outwardly ordinary life. The Radleys, who follow the rules of The Abstainer's Handbook (e.g., "Be proud to act like a normal human being"), haven't told their 15-year-old vegan daughter, Clara, and 17-year-old son, Rowan, who's troubled by nightmares, that they're really vampires. A crisis occurs when a drunken classmate of Clara's, Stuart Harper, attacks her on her way home from a party and inadvertently awakens the girl's blood thirst. Peter's call for help to his brother, Will, a practicing vampire, leads to scary consequences. The likable Clara and Rowan will appeal to both adult and teen readers.