An eerie, modern gothic thriller about what awaits us after death - angels or the devil . . . A fast-paced, dark, sinister and powerful novel, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2011 and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2010.
It's summer. Taken from the buzz of London, her friends and what she thinks is the start of a promising romance, Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold.
Ferelith already lives in Winterfold - it's a place that doesn't like to let you go, and she knows it inside out: the beach, the crumbling cliff paths, the village streets, the woods, the deserted churches and ruined graveyards, year by year being swallowed by the sea.
Against their better judgement, Rebecca and Ferelith become friends, and during that long, hot, claustrophobic summer they discover more about each other - and about Winterfold - than either could have wanted. Frightening secrets are uncovered that would have been best long forgotten.
Interwoven with Rebecca and Ferelith's stories is that of the seventeenth century Rector and Dr Barrieux, master of Winterfold Hall, whose bizarre and bloody experiments into the after-life might make angels weep, and the devil crow . . .
Sedgwick (Revolver) addresses themes of death and what may (or may not) await in the afterlife in this chilling story, told in three voices and in two parallel stories set 200 years apart. In contemporary England, teenage Rebecca reluctantly moves to the coastal village of Winterfold, trading her life back in Greenwich for a lonely town where she knows no one and that every year loses more of itself to the inexorable pull of the sea. Soon, though, Rebecca is discovered by Ferelith, "the strangest-looking girl she's ever seen," who opens a dangerous new world to Rebecca, as Ferelith draws her into Winterfold's dark secrets and legends. The mystery that is Ferelith a calculated and intelligent girl who left school at age 14, lives in a commune, and doesn't seem entirely human will pull readers through the book, as will a twin mystery that unspools through the increasingly frenzied journal entries of a local priest in 1798, himself in the thrall of a mysterious stranger. Showing his customary skill with a gothic setting and morally troubled characters, Sedgwick keeps readers guessing to the very end. Ages 12 up.
This book was very interesting as it explored a new genre, whilst being ruthlessly thrilling throughout.