Starred review No.2
My publisher at Random House in New York, Wendy Lamb, has emailed me a another wonderful review of the U.S. edition of Never Ending. Booklist, the reviews magazine of the American Library Association – aimed at librarians, book groups, readers and students across the U.S. – gave my novel a coveted starred rating and the following write-up (reproduced in full, apart from a one-sentence cut to remove a serious plot-spoiler!):
Fifteen-year-old Shiv and her 12-year-old brother, Declan, accompany their parents to Greece for a two week vacation. Just before they are scheduled to leave, tragedy strikes and three of them return home to bury the fourth. Shiv is consumed by guilt and overwhelmed by grief, believing beyond the shadow of a doubt that Declan’s death was completely her fault.
Unable to function, Shiv allows herself to become a resident at the Korsakoff Clinic, where she will undergo their brand of non-traditional, progressive treatment. Five other teens who bear the wreckage of similar losses constitute the rest of the residents. When asked what she would have done differently, Shiv struggles to find an answer.
Alternating chronological stories of the vacation with the stay at the clinic, Bedford skilfully pushes and pulls at the reader’s emotions while carefully revealing the details of the backstory and the aftermath until the two converge. Hand this compelling novel to readers who thrive on complex narratives.