ABOUT THE BOOK
‘So that was all it took,’ I thought. ‘That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn’t so much after all.’
Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.
Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.
Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.
That’s when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it’s clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.
And it’s time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?
This story will chill you to the bone and sicken you, but you won’t be able to put it down for anything. Chrissie is only eight years old, neglected, under-nourished and overlooked by the authorities and school. Only a few people in her community keep their eye on her and feed her when they can. She is cunning, violent and trying to make sense of the world where she lives. Something that her mother has told her leads her to commit a crime and, the feeling of power that it gives her is all-consuming. It has woken something in her that she already knows she will want to feel again.
Chrissie has just enticed and murdered a little boy that she knows, a toddler, and she feels glorious! She watches with fascination at the reactions of the community, including the little boy’s family. She gloats that she has the answers to all their questions and, the buzz is like nothing that she has ever felt.
The story runs on two parallel timelines, with a Chrissie now grown up and going under the name of Julia, living her life with her daughter. Things are far from right in the present day as she knows what evils there are in the world and how can she keep her daughter safe.
What a fabulous book! Every emotion has been stripped back to the bone, with every unthinkable buried thought having no cutoff point. The timelines run seamlessly side by side, and it works superbly. There are some amazing characters in this story, both when she was a child and as an adult, that can see the child and person she should have been if only someone had done something.
There were so many tragic mistakes. A knock your socks off read and is highly recommended, by myself.
I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy Tucker is a trainee Clinical Psychologist. Her memoir of her childhood struggle with anorexia, The Time in Between, was published in 2015. Her follow-up, That Was When People Started to Worry, an examination of young women’s mental health, was published in 2018. The First Day of Spring is her first work of fiction. –This text refers to the hardcover edition.