Friday 24 January 2020

Blog Tour ~ The Home by Sarah Stovell

Thrilled to host today's stop on this Blog Tour

Orenda Books
10 January 2020

Thanks to the publishers and to Random Things Tours for my ecopy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour

When the body of pregnant, fifteen-year-old Hope Lacey is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For Hope lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them cloistered away… As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations … and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge. 

A gritty, dark and devastating psychological thriller, The Home is also an emotive drama and a piercing look at the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live … if they are allowed to live at all.

What did I think about it..

Like the horror that continually engulfs them, Annie, Hope and Lara are lost and abandoned young souls caught up in a care system which offers neither hope, nor salvation, and which has continually let them down throughout the whole of their young and shattered lives.

Bound together in a bleak, cost cutting environment on the edges of the majestic scrutiny of the English Lake District, the three girls hide their secrets and keep their mouths shut but when the body of 15 year old Hope is found it opens up the residential care home, and its inhabitants, to a scrutiny which is as vicious as it is necessary.

Once you start reading The Home it suffuses your every waking thought, not just because the reasons for Hope’s untimely death are heartbreakingly tragic, but also because the story scrutinises the lives of these three very damaged young girls, and exposes all the horrific circumstances which have led them to live out their fragile lives amongst people who used, abused, and then tossed them aside.

The Home is by no means an easy read, in fact parts of it are really quite harrowing and I had to sometimes stop and take a moment or two to consider the emotional effect the words had on me, often trying to rationalise the horror by reminding myself that this was fiction, but, of course, at the same time acknowledging that some young lives in our social care system really are as harrowing as those of Annie, Hope and Lara's. And yet, for all the joylessness of their individual stories, they were all compelling characters, particularly Hope, whose tough exterior belies her vulnerability, her story, amongst the three, is the one that will stay with me for a very, long time.

I remember reading this author’s previous book, Exquisite, and being incredibly aware of her amazing and undeniable talent. Her impeccable ability in creating beautiful, and memorable, characters from the ashes of tragedy, is outstanding.

These broken girls, on the cusp of adulthood, filled with the scars of their past will break your heart into a million pieces, and in this third week of my new reading year I have found another thought-provoking, and all-consuming story to add to my Reads of 2020 list.

About the Author

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by Sunday Times.

Twitter @SarahLovescrime #TheHome




  1. Huge thanks for the wonderful blog tour support Jo x

    1. My pleasure, Anne. It's been such a treat to read The Home x


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