Turning over a new leaf?

'The Lost Child' by Suzanne McCourt
'The Lost Child' by Suzanne McCourt

The first thing that strikes you about this coming-of-age novel is its guileless charm.

Narrated by five-year-old Sylvie, the book’s Australian author Suzanne McCourt portrays the essence of her character’s childlike innocence through creative prose and imagery.

It offers a refreshing perspective of what family life is like for Sylvie growing up in the 1950s in a small fishing village on the southern coast of Australia.

In this we take her lead as she traipses on the fragile path towards adulthood. Along the way, Sylvie tries to get her head around key moments in her life such as the disappearance of her brother and the divorce of her parents.

The bittersweet nature of the tale is poignant and uplifting at the same time, complemented by beautiful story-telling that satisfies to the end.

As debuts go, it’s a wonderful start to what is sure to be the first of many great novels for McCourt.

‘The Lost Child’ by Suzanne McCourt is published in paperback by Text Publishing, priced £10.99 (ebook £6.79). Available now

A manor house with a chilling past. An isolated village full of superstitious rituals and beliefs. A fresh start for mother and daughter.

Lindy and her teenage daughter, Izzy, move to Stagcote Manor in search of a new life. While Lindy is keen to embrace the new start, Izzy finds her new home and the village beyond unsettling.

From the villagers’ welcome gift, to their bizarre customs and traditions, Izzy knows something is not quite right.

As strange things begin to occur within the manor, she becomes obsessed with investigating the house’s past, leading the reader down a twisting and mysterious path to a dramatic conclusion.

This may sound like a familiar story, but RS Pateman has managed to create a gripping and atmospheric thriller in ‘The Prophecy Of Bees’.

Following on from his debut novel, ‘The Second Life Of Amy Archer’, Pateman has once again produced a well-plotted and captivating page-turner.

The Prophecy Of Bees by RS Pateman is published in paperback by Orion, priced £12.99 (ebook £6.99). Available now.