Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge, the Costa Award-winning author of The Lie Tree, is a fantastically eerie and beautifully written novel, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal.
The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak.
'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.'
When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.
Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it's too late . . .
'Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now' - Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Unnervingly eerie and tensely narrated, Cuckoo Song is a chilling tale of a family torn apart by war. In post-WWI England, 11-year-old Triss begins to notice dolls’ eyes shifting towards her and hushed whispers following her every move, these shiver-inducing scenes will leave you sleeping with the lights on. Hardinge’s deliciously dark prose has been given the literary seal of approval with a Carnegie Medal shortlist and 2015 Costa Award.
In this painful and powerful tale set in post-WWI England, readers meet 11-year-old Triss, the coddled daughter of a respected civil engineer and an overprotective mother, as well as her jealous younger sister, Pen. As the story opens, Triss has somehow fallen into a local pond, barely escaping with her life, and she regains consciousness to find that the world has gone strange. Her memories are spotty and inconsistent, store mannequins and dolls turn their heads to follow her movements, and every time she closes her eyes she senses "dreams waiting at the mousehole of her mind's edge, ready to catch her up in their soft cat-mouth and carry her off somewhere she did not want to go." Triss feels an overwhelming hunger that cannot be assuaged by human food and suspects she is no longer human. In the guise of a gorgeously written and disconcerting fairy tale, Hardinge (A Face Like Glass) delves deeply into the darker side of family life, particularly sibling rivalry and the devastating effect war can have on those left at home. Ages 12 up.
Just to clarify this, I haven't read the last 80 pages and therefore haven't found out the ending which could potentially ruin it! However from what I have read this is an amazing, well-written book. I read it for Carnegie 2015 and unfortunately it didn't win but it still remains a creepy, unnerving story of which its cover have me nightmares!
What a wonderful book! I fell into this fascinating 'other world' and didn't want it to end. I feel I have been missing out for years after reading a storyline such as this. A joy to read!
This was an amazing book which was wired and creepy I would defiantly recommend it!