A Skinful of Shadows - blog post image
  • December 11, 2017

A Skinful of Shadows

This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .

Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.

Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.

Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.

And now there's a spirit inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father's rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.

But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death."

My Thoughts

If I had my way every child in the world would have the opportunity to read A Skinful of Shadows as well as Frances Hardinge’s earlier novel, The Lie Tree. I implore you to wrap up A Skinful of Shadows and pop it under the Christmas tree for anybody between the ages of about 12-16 or order it from the library as an absorbing fabulous holiday read for kids to curl up with over the winter holidays.

A Skinful of Shadows is a captivating story and Hardinge’s prose seethes with atmosphere. There isn’t a scene or a character that you can’t smell, hear and feel beneath your skin. An incredible achievement.

Twelve year old Makepeace is an exquisitely drawn heroine and the perfect protagonist for this challenging tale. She is feisty and strong in a quiet, realistic and reassuring sort of way and she carries the reader along with her and her ghosts like a whirlwind.

I’d heard the A Skinful of Shadows was a ghost story, a genre I’m not overly keen on, and only my huge enjoyment of the Lie Tree led me to take the leap of faith and buy it - I am very glad that I did. Yes, it is a ghost story of sorts but don’t let that put you off, it’s like nothing you’ve ever read before.

I listened to the audio book which was gripping and beautifully performed by Tuppence Middleton.


A Word With Kate Frost - blog post image

A Word With Kate Frost

Kate and I have not met but I feel like I know her - we are members of the same Facebook group (Book Connectors), she lives in Bristol which is near where I come from and, like me, she writes adult and children's fiction.  I recently reviewed Kate's novel Time Shifters Into The Past 

Ronaldo The Flying Reindeer - blog post image
  • December 07, 2017

Ronaldo The Flying Reindeer

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license, just like his hero, Vixen.  

The Lost Words - blog post image
  • December 07, 2017

The Lost Words


A Pinch of Magic - blog post image

A Pinch of Magic

Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse. Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.Will they be enough to break the curse? Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? ... 


Did you know that the web of an average Garden spider (Araneus diadematus) contains up to 30 metres of silk!