Rose Drew, mentioned in my previous post, has now written a full review of the proof copy of Abernathy. I should stress, these views are totally her own, and I’m truly humbled by her kind words! As always, go to http://unbound.co.uk/books/abernathy to pledge and pre-order the book.
“In Abernathy, Claire Patel-Campbell’s debut novel, you’re struck, first, by the evocative words, dropping you into small-town America: which could be small-town England; to an extent, small-town anywhere. You feel the frost in your bones, your breath freezes, and you shiver with dread. Patel-Campbell has a sure hand with these places, and people, and you walk the same streets and drink the same bad coffee; feel as claustrophobic or as powerful (depending) as one can get in a tiny town with secrets.
“This is Hitchcockian, a gradual building of violence and facts and innuendo, described in snatches of backstories and side-histories, as the whole town and the story of the lost frozen woman gathers speed and rushes down the mountain (only figuratively: this place is a flat as every mid-western town, ever), filling a valley village with shock, crashing danger and rubble. You’ll peep through curtains, suspicious of everyone else, as the story swerves and changes, rebuilds and resolves, only to plunge on.
“I was drawn in from the first words: I have lived in or had relatives who lived in teensy towns like this, essentially founded and then run by the same family for 200 years. In its own way, even quietly wealthy Greenwich, Connecticut, with its murders and bad-seed clans, was like this in the 1970s. But please set aside some time when you pick this up book: you will struggle to tear yourself away. I found I simply could not put Abernathy down until the last page was turned over. And now of course, Gallagher, and Murphy, and Sally and Sarah, are sitting patiently by my elbow, urging me to revisit their stories in my thoughts. I will not be able to resist.”
Rose Drew, October 2016
Find out more about Rose and her work here: http://www.stairwellbooks.co.uk/