Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel from the author of People of Abandoned Character.
An absent father.
A missing girl.
Buried family secrets.
Is the truth worth searching for?
Sixteen-year-old Prue has grown up around secrets. Her gran's stern silence, her mother's teary breakdowns, her aunt's whispered assurances. But now, in the aftermath of her mum's latest 'episode', Prue's decided she's old enough for the truth. She wants to know what it is that makes the adults around her turn tight-lipped and distracted. She wants to know why her mum can't cope. Most of all, she wants to know who her dad is.
Forced to spend the summer in the Shetlands with her aunt, Ruth, and new uncle, Archie, Prue arrives determined to find some answers. But she soon finds herself caught up in a web of family secrets, betrayals and – perhaps – even murder...
Set during one long summer in Shetland, this is a beautifully drawn, psychologically astute novel about a young woman's search for truth, even as she realises the lies that surround her have been keeping her safe.
Praise for The Gone and the Forgotten:
'What a beautiful, absorbing, emotional book. I was on that remote island with these characters, lost in their unfolding dramas and the barren landscape and long-past secrets. I was with young Prue on her quest to disperse the shadows of her past, and certainly identified with many of the things she had been through. A stunning read' Louise Beech
'This impressive debut builds up pace, pathos and intrigue superbly, with plenty of twists and turns' Woman's Weekly.
'A gripping and original take on the world's most notorious serial killer. A perfectly thrilling read for those long winter nights. Highly recommended' Adam Hamdy.
'A mistreated wife suspects her husband might be the Whitechapel killer... Compelling' Sunday Times.
'An astonishing book set in a Victorian London plagued by Jack the Ripper. Whitfield's narrator is Susannah, an ex-nurse who rushed into a rapidly souring marriage with a wealthy surgeon and starts to believe that her husband might be Leather Apron himself. I'd be amazed if it isn't dominating the shortlists come next year's awards season' M.W. Craven