Hello and welcome to my stop on the Book Blog Tour for Frances Vick’s Bad Little Girl.
About the Book
‘I’m not safe – you have to help me…’
Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.
As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe.
Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind, but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?
Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?
An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.
This was a seriously creepy book. The book starts with Claire, a school teacher who becomes concerned about a child Lorna. It seems that Lorna has gotten under Claire’s skin. Perhaps it is the fact that everyone else is so certain she is a thief and a troublemaker. Whatever it is, Lorna becomes Claire’s obsession, her blindspot. She is so determined to help her, and she is convinced that Lorna is, in fact, the victim of her situation.
This book was interesting to read because it had you questioning all the way through exactly what was happening. Frances Vick plays with the ambiguity of bias. By that I mean we see the same things that Claire does, but we see these events through a biased narrator, so what actually might have been happening is hidden by Claire’s desire to protect Lorna. However, what I thought was even more clever, was that Frances Vick wrote this book in a way that lets us know that she is unreliable and that there might be more to the story.
Throughout the book, we are given hints that Claire’s past, where she wasn’t protected by her Mother enough, might be influencing her interpretation of events and the terrifyingly rash actions that she takes when the danger Lorna is supposedly experiencing comes to a head. This book was extremely well written because even though I thought I knew what was happening and I believed that Claire was not seeing what I was seeing, certain events had me doubting myself.
A lot of what occurs in the book is extremely drastic, but it doesn’t seem far-fetched at all. It makes you consider the reality of our time. Children are being forced to grow up so much faster than they used to be. It is harder for parents to keep children innocent and stop them from being exposed to information and experiences that only adults should have to deal with. Their innocence can be ripped from them, especially if they have parent’s that aren’t that bothered about protecting them from the very scary world in which we now live in. This book was a brilliant addition to this debate, and it explores the darker side of children and how they can become evil in some situations.
The end of this book left me absolutely terrified, and it made me very glad I didn’t have a child or had to spend time with any as I would have been scared. It was a creepy and terrifying ending to a book, and it will stay with me for a very long time. For me, the character of Marianne didn’t work until I realised what was happening. Up until that point, I was confused as to what she was doing in the book.
In summary, this book is very well written and utterly terrifying. If you are currently debating whether to have children do not read this book. But otherwise, I would highly recommend it.
About the Author
The only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the patients. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a guinea pig for medical trials. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching English in Japanese Junior High Schools, and being a life model in Italy, before coming back to London and working with homeless teenagers and refugees.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my stop on the Bad Little Girl Blog Tour. Remember to check out what the other reviewers said about this book – I certainly will be.