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The Reckoning

Length: 224 pages4 hours


Imagine Mark Haddon meets Alice Sebold and you have Patricia Tyrrell’s The Reckoning.

In a phone booth beside a dusty Arizona highway, fifteen-year-old Cate listens in on yet another conversation between Les (the man who has raised her since she was a toddler) and her mother. But this is no ordinary chit chat, for the woman at the end of the line hasn’t seen her daughter since she was three years old, and the man in the phone booth is the homeless drifter who abducted Cate from beside her sleeping parents over a decade ago.

Now Les has finally determined that the time has come for Cate to go home.

How will Cate cope with learning to love a mother she can’t remember, and with learning to reject the father-figure she has loved for twelve years? How will her mother reconcile the memories of her three-year-old daughter with the hard-bitten, poorly educated and cynical teenager who turns up on her doorstep in Virginia? And what will happen to them both when the awful secret Cate is hiding is brought out into the open?

Electrifying, brilliantly written and taut with suspense, The Reckoning is an intense and riveting meditation on the themes of loss and reunion, parents and children, and nature versus nurture.

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