“I killed a little boy today. Held my hands around his throat, felt his blood pump hard against my thumbs. He wriggled and kicked and one of his knees caught me in the belly, a sharp lasso of pain. I roared. I squeezed. Sweat made it slippy between our skins but I didn’t let go, pressed and pressed until my nails were white. It was easier than I thought it would be.”
Set to be released in hardback on 24th June, The First Day Of Spring by Nancy Tucker follows eight-year-old Chrissie who has just killed a two-year-old boy. Her playmates are tearful and their mothers are terrified, keeping them locked up indoors. Her secret gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.
Fifteen years later, Julia works in a fish and chip shop and tries to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away. That’s when the phone calls begin. Julia is too afraid to answer because it’s clear the caller knows the truth – that Julia is Chrissie, living under the new name given to her when she was released from prison eight years before.
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