Published 2nd April 2014
ISBN 978 1 7433 1766 2
Themes: Family life/ First person narratives/ Forests/ Money/ NZ Symphony Orchestra/ Sheep farms/ ‘Thriller’s/ Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP)
If teenage Viola were to go into the sunlight it would be an instant death sentence as she suffers from a rare genetic condition which means total sensitivity to ultra violet light. Because of this her life is lived while other people are sleeping – this is when she does her school work, plays the violin (her mother plays in the NZ Symphony Orchestra) and when she goes for walks on the farm and in the forest surrounding her parent’s house. And it is in the forest that, one night, she becomes involved in something that will have a life changing effect on her whole family.
You don’t hear the word ‘thriller’ so often nowadays but that is exactly what this book is – a real thriller and one that never goes beyond credibility and logic with characters the reader is able to relate to completely. Ella West lives on a sheep station in Central Otago and the book is full of details of farming life – some hard for a townie like me to read. It is the sort of book you can’t wait to finish to find out exactly what happens and yet are reluctant to do this because then it will all be over and you will know the ending!! Recommended.
Year 8 up/ Age 12 up
Please Google Ella’s name (pseudonym of Karen Trebilcock) for details of her many awards and lists of her other books.
Photo – Bill Nichol