Cuckoo by Sophie Draper
Published by Avon
There’s a stranger in your house…
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
I'll be honest here, I actually only started reading this book on Monday ready for the blog tour today but do you know what, I flew through this and really enjoyed it. I will say, and this is not meant negatively at all, but how many books just lately are about women on their own in creepy houses? Or is just that I keep reading about them because that's my favoured genre?!
Anyway, our central character Caro (never Caroline) learns that her evil stepmother Elizabeth has died tragically - an accidental falling over a banister (as if!) and she and her estranged sister Steph have inherited everything, including the old farmhouse that was once their family home in Derbyshire. Caro is currently living in a friend's flat in London but with the tenancy up soon this seems to have come at the perfect time. The house needs sorting out and as she is an artist she can work from Derbyshire as easily as she can from London so she travels up instantly. Her sister lives in New York so Caro is on her own to deal with Elizabeth's belongings and it isn't long before living in the house once again starts to trigger some peculiar memories.
The villagers aren't particularly warming towards her, and Caro can't figure out why, but the young and handsome neighbour Craig seems to have taken a shine to her and takes her under his wing. After recently ending a relationship though, Caro is more than a little wary but as things in the house continue to go bump in the night, and stuff is moved around seemingly on its own, she soon realises she needs someone on her side.
Some of the book reminded me a little of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber as Caro is illustrating a fairy tale book called The Pear Drum and other dark tales from the Nursery, which the reader may not be surprised to learn her stepmother also had a pear drum with which she used to taunt Caro when she was younger. There are some snippets of the stories within the book and they are equally as dark as the ones Carter writes about.
Is some of Cuckoo predictable? Yes, probably. However it kept me turning the pages throughout and actually I thought it had a pretty good twist of an ending which if you know me, I love. I can't stand a poor conclusion to a book. Cuckoo is also only 99p on Amazon Kindle in the UK so surely that makes it worth a read?
Miss Chapters x