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The Double Shadow

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781780620374

Price: £7.99

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Arnold Ruben has created a memory machine, a utopia housed in a picture palace, where the happiest memories replay forever, a haven in which he and his precious daughter can shelter from the war-clouds gathering over 1937 Britain. But on the day of her 17th birthday Amaryllis leaves Warlock Hall and the world she has known and wakes to find herself in a desolate and disturbing place. Something has gone terribly wrong with her father’s plan.

Against the tense backdrop of the Second World War, Sally Gardner explores families and what binds them, fathers and daughters, past histories, passions and cruelty, love and devastation in a novel rich in character and beautifully crafted.

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Sally Gardner's new novel The Double Shadow - one for older teenagers and adults this time - is an ingeniously complex story set before and during the Second World War. It concerns memories and identity, how the past makes the future, and with its elements of science fiction and influences as various as Eliot's The Waste Land and the film Sunset Boulevard, it is a dark book but a beautifully, richly imagined one...
Original and atmospheric, chilling and thoroughly engrossing, this is another terrific read from a versatile author who is extraordinarily imaginative and technically skilled in equal measure.
Sally Gardner's astonishing new novel for older teenagers THE DOUBLE SHADOW is intriguing, shocking and very funny. Gardner creates a cast of wonderful characters in rich, inventive and evocative prose
Marilyn Brocklehurst, THE BOOKSELLER
What a mysterious and haunting book THE DOUBLE SHADOW by Sally Gardner proved to be, despite being strangely unsettling this is a book rich in atmosphere and detail
THE DOUBLE SHADOW is a brilliant, complex story of family bonds, love, cruelty, friendship and devastation - and of history and war
This beautifully written tale of family, history and memories set against the menacing backdrop of the Second World War
Sally Gardner has again succeeded in raising her goalposts in this totally original novel which is very different to the usual YA fare, and again proves my strong belief that the best novels for younger audiences can have just as good writing as those for grown-ups and also be satisfying reads for adults too. Thank you Sally! (10/10)
In an era when novels by Mann Booker winners are expected to 'zip along', thank goodness young adult authors such as Gardner aren't so lacking in ambition. Her fourth novel, set in 1937 is dramatic and daring... Memories - their capture, alteration and destruction - form the core of this tale. A paranormal teen romance with rare philosophical depth.
Sally Gardner writes beautifully. I was in awe of her use of metaphors and similes. You can tell that Sally used to be an illustrator, because when she writes, she not only tells a story, she paints a picture with words. She is so descriptive you not only see the landscape, you step into it... The book is breathtaking and original. One that will become a comfort read of the future, a true literary treasure to be enjoyed again and again.
What's so amazing about 'The Double Shadow' is the absolute uniqueness and originality of the story, which has sprung from an imagination that I'm seriously envious of. It's totally different from anything else I've read that it really stands out from any other offering currently gracing the shelves in bookshops...I'm in awe of Gardner's storytelling skills and envious of anyone getting to read this book for the very first time. It's an experience you won't forget!
Sally Gardner has a wondrous, almost wizardly way with words, using simple prose infused with a touch of magic. Her characters are so vividly present... the result is a very special novel
With a cast of glamourous, and warm-hearted characters this is a fast paced adventure, set during the Second World War, about a girl and a boy, and a memory machine that could alter time forever.
Gardner offers us a gripping psychological/family portrait combined with a science-fiction thriller that is outstanding.
This is a mysterious, haunting and unusual book that is difficult to put into any category. The most accurate category would probably be sci-fi-historical-surreal-poetic-dreamworld-love-story. The idea of editing your memories is fascinating, but what really makes the story compelling is the individual drama.
beautifully written and absorbingly clever
This is a fantastic adventure, and you just can't work out quite how it will develop. It's got lots of sinister people and happenings, but also beautiful and fascinating and thought provoking ones. And I do love the setting! WWII is rarely portrayed as glamourous, and I know it wasn't really, but this still works for me. Romance, bravery and a little time travel. And let's not forget love. Love's important.
An unusual and constantly challenging story.
Nicholas Tucker, THE INDEPENDENT
... one of those books that will be remembered by the reader for a lifetime.
At times the writing is so good, so visceral that you can feel the green fog of captured memories seeping out from the pages and suffocating you.
Strongly influenced by TS Eliot's The Waste Land, and by the early years of Hollywood movies, this outstanding novel plunges us deep into the nature of sanity and the power of love and truth to heal profound psychological wounds. The writing is thrillingly vivid, dramatic and makes for a serious treat which keeps readers on the edge of their seats all the way to the end.
Amanda Craig, THE TIMES
The Double Shadow is a book about loss and damage, identity and illusion, cruelty and, ultimately healing. It's an astonishing departure for a writer who has found a new and very distinctive voice. I can't wait to see what she will do next.
Mary Hoffman, THE GUARDIAN
A powerful blend of timeslip fantasy, science fiction and coming of age novel, its central theme is memory and the part it plays in constructing who we are.
The School Librarian
Sally Gardner has achieved yet another masterpiece, crafting an amazing story world on paper.
At once a thriller, love story, and an exploration of memory and forgetting... I thought it extraordinary - one of those rare novels published for young readers where we are admitted to a second world charged with its writer's exceptional intelligence of both mind and emotion.
a complex story with constantly changing plots. Some emotionally challenging, but, when all the connections are made, the reader is taken on an exciting, and fulfilling, journey.
A paranormal teen romance with a rare philosophical depth
Financial Times
The Guardian
Exciting and fulfilling
Extraordinary -- one of those rare novels published for young readers where we are admitted to a secondary world charged with its writer's exceptional intelligence of both mind and emotion
Books For Keeps
A rich and compelling book ... a tour de force
School Librarian
An extraordinary novel of unusual grace and power
The Daily Telegraph
Remarkable ... lyrical ... unpredictable
The Times
At times the writing is almost too good -- so visual, so visceral that you can feel the green fog of captured memories seeping out form the pages
The Sunday Telegraph
What a mysterious and haunting book ... terrifying and fascinating in equal measure
The Bookseller
Strikingly original
The Independent
Gardner is a true artist and original ... The writing is thrillingly vivid, dramatic and makes for a serious treat which keeps readers on the edge of their seats all the way to the end
The Times
Typically brilliant ... an unusual and constantly challenging story
The Independent
One of those haunting books that will be remembered by the reader for a lifetime
SFX Magazine