Book Review: Cuckoo by Sophie Draper

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

Caro has spent most of her adult life trying to escape her childhood and her step mother.

When a death brings her back to the house that holds so many unhappy memories, she begrudgingly comes back.

The welcome she gets from most of the village isn’t warm. There is something that every one is holding back. Things at the house are even stranger.

Cuckoo is the kind of thriller I love! I devoured it quickly wanting to know what happens.

The pace and style of writing is great. There is a gothic theme to it. The atmosphere that is created is wonderful.

I ended up second guessing myself a lot. I thought I had it sussed but then something would happen and I’d quickly settle on something else. It wouldn’t be long until that changed again. It seriously kept my interest all the way through.

At the beginning, I knew something wasn’t right. I couldn’t figure out if it was the house, the village and its inhabitants, the house or the nature of the death of her step mother. Nothing is as it seems.

I am trying to tread carefully as I don’t want to give anything away. Twists and turns made this book compelling, mysterious, scary (in places,) and completely unputdownable.

I am looking forward to seeing what Sophie does next. She has a new fan that is for sure.


About Sophie: 

Sophie was born in the Midlands but raised in Scotland. With an MA in Mediaeval History, she followed a career in finance, travelling the world as a management consultant and International Finance Director. She took a career break to have a family and after her youngest was born, Sophie rediscovered her love of stories, taking up life as a writer and traditional oral storyteller.

Her debut novel, CUCKOO, was published by Avon (HarperCollins) on 29th Nov 2018. It won the Bath Novel Award 2017 (as “The Pear Drum”) and the prestigious Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing 2017. A second book is to be published later in 2019.

Sophie lives with her family in Derbyshire, in a house filled with music, several cats, too many books and three growing boys. As a storyteller she was nominated for the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence 2013 (Outstanding Female Storyteller) and performs across the UK, telling stories for all ages at festivals, schools, historic houses, museums and community groups.

Visit Sophie’s website:
Say hi on Twitter:
Say hi on Facebook:
Say hi on Instagram:


Cuckoo is available to buy in most UK book shops and online. Click to view on Amazon UK


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.

Book Club
Book Club