“One of the pleasures of this dark teenage novel is the way it slowly gives up its secrets. Summarising the plot quickly risks spoiling some of this, but suffice to say this is a triple narrative. One strand is about Rebecca, an unhappy 16-year-old who comes reluctantly from London to live in the seaside village of Winterfold, trailing clouds of pain – a broken romance and a public disgrace involving her father. The second strand is the narrative of a strange young outsider she meets, who is clever, mysterious and determined to befriend her. The third is the confessions of an 18th century rector, who has visions of hell and a devilish involvement with the new master of Winterfold Hall. The voices of modern teenagers and of a man of the cloth in the 1700s are equally convincing, as these contrasting narratives converge in an ingenious story full of tension, twists and horror. Reading it is like agreeing to a dare, compelling you to keep going into a frightening unknown.”
The Sunday Times
“Showing his customary skill with a gothic setting and morally troubled characters, Sedgwick keeps readers guessing to the very end.”
Starred review in Publishers’ Weekly
“Wickedly macabre and absolutely terrifying.”
Starred review in Kirkus Reviews.
“White Crow is a compelling novel. Full of tension and evocative imagery, the novel’s twin narratives evade melodrama and keep the mystery going right to the end.”
“There are still gothic elements to WHITE CROW, but this feels like a new direction for Sedgwick. This is essentially a contemporary tale of two girls’ friendship in a long, hot, tense summer, but it is interwoven with a 17th century tale of bizarre experiments into the afterlife. It is an original and exceptional novel of tragedy, angels, devils and friendship.”
Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
“There are moments at the end of White Crow that actually made my breath catch at the back of my throat.”
Alternative Magazine Online
From left to right are the UK, US, Danish and German covers.
An eerie, modern gothic thriller about what awaits us after death – angels or the devil . . . A fast-paced, dark, sinister and powerful novel, shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
It’s summer. Taken from the buzz of London, her friends and what she thinks is the start of a promising romance, Rebecca is an unwilling visitor to Winterfold.
Ferelith already lives in Winterfold – it’s a place that doesn’t like to let you go, and she knows it inside out: the beach, the crumbling cliff paths, the village streets, the woods, the deserted churches and ruined graveyards, year by year being swallowed by the sea.
Against their better judgement, Rebecca and Ferelith become friends, and during that long, hot, claustrophobic summer they discover more about each other – and about Winterfold – than either could have wanted. Frightening secrets are uncovered that would have been best long forgotten.
Interwoven with Rebecca and Ferelith’s stories is that of the seventeenth century Rector and Dr Barrieux, master of Winterfold Hall, whose bizarre and bloody experiments into the after-life might make angels weep, and the devil crow . . .
Shortlisted for The Carnegie Children’s Book Award.