Friday, February 19, 2010

The beacon, by Susan Hill

Prizewinning novelist and short story author Susan Hill has long had a grip on mystery and suspense and these talents are very much to the fore in this gripping tale.
The Beacon is the bleak North Country property where Colin, May, Frank and Berenice Prime grew up. Colin, Berenice and Frank married and moved away; May tried university in London, but fearfulness got the better of her and she moved back home to look after her ageing parents.
It was a hard-working, contented childhood - but when Frank, who nobody really talks about, publishes a memoir, there are many questions. Could he really have been so miserable, so mistreated as a child? And suddenly a family that has been long-established and respected in the district is shamed, bewildered and shunned by the community.
The Beacon is a powerful story, with well-drawn, believeable characters. I've long been an admirer of Susan Hill's work and my admiration continues.
Rating - I give this 4/5
Get this from the library
Reviewed by Jan @ Ballarat branch

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