Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Book Review - Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick

Amazon UK
Title:  Bad Little Girl
Author: Frances Vick
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 22nd February 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

‘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?

Due to the nature of this book, I spent a fair amount of time during the first half of the story utterly annoyed as to what I was reading. I was trying to work out just what was being conveyed could ever happen, and having done safeguarding children workshops, I was shocked at some of Claire's dialogue and behaviour. 

Unless I am mis-remembering what I've learnt in the past,  about how to handle potential disclosures and child protection issues, there is a fair amount of what Claire said to Lorna Bell at various stages that would be wrong. Of course some of her actions are incredibly questionable to, but I do appreciate this is a work of fiction and thus some liberties can be taken with real life situations. 

Yet despite of my frustrations, I found I wanted to know how the story ended, I didn't see the twist mentioned on the cover of the book, coming, nor the exact nature of it, and as far as I'm concerned a book that is keeping me reading to the end, and that I have such strong opinions about some of the content of, is clearly a well written book, and could be in fact expected to divide opinions. 

It took a while for me as a reader, to work out the true natures of some of the characters, so its no surprise it took them longer to size each other up. I had some suspicions the whole way through to various aspects, and none of those particularly surprised me. 

What did take me be surprise were my feelings towards Lorna Bell. She when we first meet her, is a five year old child in a playground, but she is from a family with a bad reputation, so it isn't before long that the other children can see her as different. At times I really felt sorry for the child, and at others as she grow up I started to suspect she was a lot more cunning then she appeared. 

Claire on the other hand is the soft hearted teacher who has been at the school for many years. She takes pastoral care perhaps more seriously than teaching her own class anything, and it's clear she has taken a shine to Lorna. At a time where Claire is feeling low, the pair's "friendship" as it is, seems to be mutually beneficial, but how staged is it and by who. 

The addition of a third main person for the second half of the story is where it started to get even more interesting, and I loved seeing how all the dynamics kept shifting around, between the main characters. 

There is a sense of danger in the story throughout, which is what I always tend to associate with psychological thrillers, and on the whole I was incredibly intrigued to find out exactly what happened.  Bad Little Girl is a cleverly crafted story, that had me fairly gripped throughout. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...