Synopses & Reviews
An electrifying psychological thriller about a mother and daughter pushed to their limits.
Shelley and her mom have been menaced long enough. Excused from high school where a trio of bullies nearly killed her, and still reeling from her parents' humiliating divorce, Shelley has retreated with her mother to the quiet of Honeysuckle Cottage in the countryside. Thinking their troubles are over, they revel in their cozy, secure life of gardening and books, hot chocolate and Brahms by the fire. But on the eve of Shelley's sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace and something inside Shelley snaps. What happens next will shatter all their certainties-about their safety, their moral convictions, the limits of what they are willing to accept, and what they're capable of.
Debut novelist Gordon Reece has written a taut tale of gripping suspense, packed with action both comic and terrifying. Shelley is a spellbinding narrator, and her delectable mix of wit, irony, and innocence transforms the major current issue of bullying into an edge- of-your-seat story of fear, violence, family loyalty, and the outer reaches of right and wrong.
"Early on in Reece's disappointing first novel, a predictable psychological thriller, bullies attack shy, unpopular Shelley Rivers in the girls' bathroom at her London secondary school, setting her hair on fire with a cigarette lighter. After Shelley gets out of the hospital, her recently divorced mother, Elizabeth, withdraws her from school, and they move to Honeysuckle Cottage, a remote country property bought with Elizabeth's share of the divorce settlement from her stock cad of a husband. At first, everything is looking up: Shelley's former school arranges for tutors so she can prepare for her exams, and Elizabeth throws herself into her job at a law office. But their peace is shattered in the early morning of Shelley's 16th birthday when a burglar breaks into the cottage. The violent repercussions force Shelley and Elizabeth to question how far they're willing to go to protect the new life they've built. While bullying is a hot topic, much of the plot relies too heavily on known genre tropes and coincidence. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Longing to hide from the world after the trauma of her parents' divorce and the terrible bullying inflicted on her in school, teenaged Shelley moves with her timid mother to a remote cottage in the English countryside where all goes well, until an intruder invades their reclusive life and nothing is ever the same again.
About the Author
Originally from the United Kingdom, Gordon Reece studied English literature at Keble College, Oxford, before emigrating to Spain and then Australia, where he has lived since 2005. In the UK and Spain, he has published several illustrated children’s books and graphic novels. Mice is his American debut and first novel.