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The Schoolhouse (Hardback)
  • The Schoolhouse (Hardback)
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The Schoolhouse (Hardback)

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3 Reviews Sign in to write a review
£16.99
Hardback 304 Pages
Published: 05/05/2022
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

A masterly combination of psychological thriller and chilling meditation on institutionalised abuse, this engrossing novel from the Booker Prize-longlisted author of Love and Other Thought Experiments poses searching questions about how childhood trauma affects emotional adult development.

Isobel lives an isolated life in North London, working at a nearby library and feeling safe if she keeps to her routines and doesn't let her thoughts stray too far into the past. But a newspaper photograph of a missing local schoolgirl and a letter from her old teacher are all it takes for her ordinary, careful armour to become overwhelmed and the trauma of what happened when she was a pupil at The Schoolhouse to return.

The Schoolhouse was different - one of the 1970s experimental schools that were a reaction to the formal methods of the past. The usual rules did not apply, and life there was a dark interplay of freedom and adventure, violence and fear. It was there Isobel learned that some truths are safest kept hidden. Only her teenage diary recorded what happened. But the truth is coming for her and everything she has tried to protect is put at risk.

Set between the past and the present, The Schoolhouse is a masterful and gripping novel about the gulf between the truths we contain and the truths we reveal; about how silence keeps us safe and holds us hostage; about institutional abuse of power; and how the lessons we learn as children informs the adults we become.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781472156327
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 218 x 140 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The Schoolhouse is taut, gripping and intensely moving right until the very last page. I truly couldn't put Sophie Ward's beautifully written novel down - Susannah Wise, author of This Fragile Earth

The Schoolhouse is a real 'stand-out-from-the-crowd' book, with an absorbing plot from the get-go; part detective novel, part taut, cerebral thriller . . . A masterful rendition of the tensions and realities of human resilience and emotional frailty - Laura Carlin, author of The Wicked Cometh

The Schoolhouse is a legit crime thriller: stylish, pacey and genuinely frightening . . . If only more Booker-recognised writers did stuff this fun - Susie Goldsbrough, The Times

A tense, taut drama that questions how childhood trauma affects adult behaviour - Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

Queerness and deafness sit alongside themes of resilience and trust, making for an evocative, well-paced narrative that's sure to win her new readers - Hephzibah Anderson, Guardian

Ward proves she can construct a compelling, fast-moving narrative (with an extended action-packed denouement). What's best about her novels, however, is her gift for bringing characters to life, which means that whether her writing is disconcertingly strange or, as here, treads at times on over-familiar territory, it always delivers a real emotional impact. - The Telegraph

A literary provocateur . . . [Ward writes with] considerable insight and humanity . . . this novel has much to say about childhood . . . Ward unpicks the damage caused not just by people intent on harm, but those around them who, blinded by idealism, prejudice or laziness, cannot see what is right before their eyes. Her anger is palpable, but so too is her compassion - Clare Clark, Guardian

The mysteries of the child's disappearance and of what scarred Isobel so deeply 15 years earlier make the book a page-turner, with some intriguing themes of trauma and abuse - The Herald

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Hardback

“A highly readable cop drama / childhood trauma romp”

Highly recommend to anyone like me who loves watching Unsolved Mysteries on loop, but with less aliens and more disappearances or cold cases. The Schoolhouse has three different narrative perspectives chains across... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 10

“A captivating thriller”

Ward beautifullt intertwines the story of Isobel, a student of the 'Schoolhouse' in the 1970s with that of Caitlin, a missing child from the 1990s, punctuating the story with Isobel's childhood diary... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 10
Amalia Gkavea

“An exceptional work, one of the finest novels of the year.”

‘’The university library was housed in an unimposing corner of North London, halfway up the Holloway Road. A small campus occupied the grounds of a former landfill site and seagulls still circled overhead, drawn by... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 9

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