When twenty-one of its twenty-two children die in an accident, an entire community turns on the sole survivor: the 'wrong child'. A must-read for fans of The Bad Seed by William March, We Need To Talk About Kevin and We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson.
Of all the children to survive, why did it have to be him?
A rural village school building collapses.
Only one child survives: Dog Evans.
To his own mother and father, Dog becomes a daily reminder of their survivor's guilt.
To the other parents he is a hated and feared emblem of their unbearable loss.
Now, seven years after the tragedy, Dog's parents have abandoned him.
And with no one to protect him, the broken community's desire for catharsis and sacrifice soon becomes unstoppable...
Uncompromising and powerful, THE WRONG CHILD is a heartbreaking - but ultimately hopeful - portrayal of loss and grief in an unimaginable situation. A must-read for fans of The Bad Seed by William March, We Need to Talk About Kevin and We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson.
[Gornell's] admirable single-mindedness and cool nerve are allied to a highly developed prose style which effectively conjures up a mood of darkness, intense cold and moral ambiguity - one in which nature itself feels complicit in the actions of the people. It is genuinely gripping - THE HERALD
The Wrong Child is a startling and uncompromising story of grief and anger, of abandonment and decay. It's intense - darker than dark - but also original and beautiful - HELEN FITZGERALD, author of Viral, Dead Lovely and The Cry
[An] uncompromising story of grief, anger, abandonment and decay - SCOTS MAGAZINE
Stunning. Macabre, unsettling and beautifully poetic - BRIAN CONAGHAN, Costa Award winning author of THE BOMBS THAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER
Barry Gornell was born in Liverpool and now lives on the West Coast of Scotland. He is a novelist/screenwriter, ex fire-fighter, truck driver and bookshop manager. His short films Sonny's Pride and The Race were broadcast on STV. Graduating from the University of Glasgow Creative Writing Masters programme in 2008, he was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Bursary in 2009. His short fiction has been published in The Herald newspaper, Let's Pretend, 37 stories about (in)fidelity, Gutter 03 and Gutter 04. The Healing of Luther Grove was his first novel followed by The Wrong Child, which was originally published by Scottish press Freight Books in 2016.