'Gripping - a joy of a story' Robin Stevens
Shortlisted for the Shrewsbury Book Award and the Warwickshire Book Award
When ten-year-old Liam moves house to be closer to his dementia-suffering grandma, he's thrown into an unfamiliar place with a family that seems to be falling apart. Liam doesn't remember what his grandma was like before she became ill. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards. He wants to fix it, but he can't.
Walking his dog one day, Liam discovers an old stone gargoyle in a rundown church, and his life changes in impossible ways. The gargoyle is alive. It moves unseen in the night, acting out Liam's stories. And stories can be dangerous things...
Seeking revenge against the bullies at his new school, Liam tells a story about the gargoyle attacking them. When one of them ends up in hospital, a regretful Liam vows never to go near the gargoyle again.
But his grandma's illness is getting worse, his mum isn't coping, and his sister is skipping school... What if the gargoyle is the only thing that can save Liam's family?
Eleven-year-old Liam is disappointed when he, his sister, and his mother move in with his grandmother, who has rapidly advancing dementia, in order to help with her care. To Liam and his sister, Jess, it seems like she has a demon inside, and he s terrified when she shouts that she s killed before during one of her outbursts. But after Liam finds his grandmother s WWII-era diary, he begins to learn that they are not so different. Liam s fears involve his mother s drinking ( I realize that wine o clock is not like bed time or lunch time or home time, because those times don t change ), as well as and his new school and its bullies. He gains an unexpected ally when his grandmother s old protector, a stone gargoyle from Notre Dame cathedral, seems to come to life and is able to enact his wildest dreams, which doesn t always go well. Liam s sensitive, insightful voice is engaging and easy to identify with, and his evolving relationship with his family as his grandmother s dementia worsens is tender and moving. Ages 10 12.