This is the tale of three 14-year-old girls and a volatile combination of lies, jealousy and perversion that ends in tragedy. Except the tragedy is even darker and more tangled than their tight-knit community has been persuaded to believe. Blackly funny and with a surreal edge to its portrait of a northern English town, Jenn Ashworth's gripping novel captures the intensity of girls' friendships and the dangers they face in a predatory adult world they think they can handle.
When Annette Clifford returns to her childhood home on the edge of Morecambe Bay, she despairs: the long-empty house is crumbling, undermined by two voracious sycamores. What she doesn't realise is that she's not alone: her arrival has woken the spirits of her parents, who anxiously watch over her, longing to make amends. Because as the past comes back to Jack and Netty, they begin to see the summer of 1963 clearly, when Netty was desperately ill and a stranger moved in.
Annie is morbidly obese, lonely and hopeful. Moving into her new home alone, she describes her increasingly bizarre attempts to ingratiate herself with her new neighbours, learn from past mistakes and achieve a "certain kind of intimacy" with the boy next door. As Annie struggles to repress a murky history of violence and sexual mishaps, she realizes her past is never too far behind her....
"Remember "Play Misty For Me"?"