Courtney Johnston's Reviews > White Crow

White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 03, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: borrowed, fiction
Read in September, 2011

I keep sticking with Marcus Sedgwick because I so loved his fictionalised biography of Arthur Ransome and I'm interested in his contemporary take on gothic fiction and psychological thrillers for young readers and teens. 'White Crow' however was pretty disappointing.

Rebecca comes to Winterfold - an English village slowly crumbling from the cliffs into the sea - with her father, a policeman sent out from London under some kind of awful disgrace, which has severely strained their relationship. Wandering about the Winterfold cliffs, Rebecca meets Ferelith, a disturbed, fey, mysterious high school drop-out who lives in a mouldering mansion with a bunch of deadbeats.

The two girls have an intense, if lopsided relationship, with Ferelith seeming to fall for Rebecca, who is both drawn to and repelled by her. The story is told from both their view points, and interspersed with flashbacks to 1798 and the diary of a local priest, who has fallen in with a French doctor fresh from the horrors of the guillotine, who is crafting dastardly, ungodly experiments in his basement.

I admired the Ferelith character - she bordered on the psychotic, and introduced an unbalanced and unpredictable aspect to the book. Overall though, the three threads were somewhat clumsily interlinked, the flashbacks were almost extraneous (it would have been a tighter and tenser story without them) and Rebecca's father's backstory was so sketchy that it seemed unnecessary - normal father-daughter teenage stress would have sufficed.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read White Crow.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.