This week’s fiction gives you my review of Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan (Piatkus £8.99)
If you’re a parent, imagine taking your eyes off your child for a split second and then losing them. This is what happens to Rachel, the main character in the amazing novel that is Burnt Paper Sky, and boy is it an emotional read.
What ensues after Rachel’s son, Ben, goes missing is a huge search during which everyone, including Rachel, is put under suspicion, and in today’s world of intense social media and 24-hour TV news pressure, it’s a suspicion that the public get well behind.
What Gilly Macmillan has done with this story is get to the raw nerve of not only the utter despair of losing a child (amidst, what turns out, is the break up of her marriage), but of how we as a society are so quick to judge and accuse, especially hiding behind the veil of internet guises. The writing in the novel is sharp, taut with social media put to clever use with emails and transcriptions weaved within the narrative. The cumulative result is powerful, gripping and very, very emotional.
It’s a real page turner and really looking forward to the next novel. And if you want to know what it’s like revealing a new book for the first time, what the Burnt Paper Sky vid below…