Lullaby Girl by Aly Sidgwick

Aly Sidgwick will be writing a guest post on my blog on June 13th. Ahead of this, here is my review of the book:

As soon as I had read the first few pages I knew I was going to be totally gripped by this book. The Lullaby Girl is such a fascinating character. Aly Sidgwick has brilliantly described the confusion, loneliness and fear she feels. Kathy (which we discover is the name of the Lullaby Girl) notices everything going on around her and makes sharp observations of what’s happening and of the people around her. However, initially, she can’t make sense of her surroundings. Being written as a first person narrative gave a great insight and immediacy to her thoughts. I was really intrigued by this portrayal of someone who has been tipped over the edge of mental illness. But how reliable a narrator can someone with memory loss be – how far can we trust the memories that start to return?

As glimpses of her memory start to come back through visions and terrifying flashbacks, the narrative moves to Scandinavia where we start to learn why Kathy sings a Danish Lullaby.   The chapters there start to fill in the blanks in her story and we begin to build up a picture of what has happened. The Lullaby Girl headed for a new life which such optimism but it rapidly spiralled down into a nightmare. The mood of these chapters was very dark and very tense.

I thought that the other characters were very well drawn in this book, in particular the staff of Gille Dubh care facility. Rhona was one I really warmed to as she was so supportive despite her own problems. Joyce on the other hand, was really unlikeable and not someone I would want to be working with vulnerable patients! The characters in Scandinavia (I’m trying hard not to give away anything here!) were mostly really horrible and I felt so sorry for Kathy being mixed up with them and being trapped in such a dreadful situation. The one exception of course was her friend Lina.

I loved the language used in The Lullaby Girl, particularly in the chapters set in the present day. Just a hint of Scots dialect making me really hear The Lullaby Girl’s voice. This is a really great tense psychological thriller and one I found really hard to put down. Forget comparisons to Gone Girl – this book deserves to be read just because it’s great!

five-star-review

My thanks to Black and White Publishing for the review copy of this book. Lullaby Girl is published in paperback on 4th June 2015.

What the book is about:

Who is the Lullaby Girl? Found washed up on the banks of a remote loch, a mysterious girl is taken into the care of a psychiatric home in the Highlands of Scotland. Mute and covered in bruises, she has no memory of who she is or how she got there. The only clue to her identity is the Danish lullaby she sings. Inside the care home, she should be safe. But, harassed by the media and treated as a nuisance by under-pressure staff, she finds the home is far from a haven. And as her memories slowly surface, the Lullaby Girl does her best to submerge them again. Some things are too terrible to remember… but unless she confronts her fear, how can she find out who she really is.

Click the link to buy Lullaby Girl

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