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Black Sheep by Susan Hill

Black Sheep

Family Drama   eBook Favourites   

RRP £7.99

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Susan Hill is most famous for her ghost stories and though this is far from a tale of the supernatural it does share the same taut, sparse style and bleakness familiar from those. The Howker family live in the fictional Mount Zeal an allegorical town where life is divided between the streets or Paradise and the pit, or as Ted, the youngest Howker and our eponymous black sheep, calls it, Hell. This is a story about trying to climb ladders but always being tripped back down by snakes and whilst exquisitely written, shocking, poignant and will stay with you for a long time to come, it certainly isn't for those who like their endings happy.

If you like Susan Hill you might also like to read books by Elizabeth George, Jim Crace and Richard Montanari.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. In Mount of Zeal, a mining village, the Howker family – husband and sons – work in the pit, while mother Evie runs the house, her endless round of cooking, cleaning and washing dictated by the menfolk and their shifts. But then there are her ‘misfits’ – daughter, Rose, who pays little heed to convention, and son, Ted, for whom life underground is too much to contemplate. As Ted finds his own way in the world, events take a dramatic turn that will change the Howker household forever. A masterpiece of economy and control.
~ The Good Book Guide


Black Sheep by Susan Hill

Powerful...Poignant, bleak and haunting, this is a small masterpiece . (Sunday Mirror). Brother and sister, Ted and Rose Howker, grew up in Mount of Zeal, a mining village blackened by coal. They know nothing of the outside world, though both of them yearn for escape. For Rose this comes in the form of love, while Ted seizes the chance of a job away from the pit. But neither can truly break free and their decisions bring with them brutal consequences... Gripping all the way to its unexpected end . (Spectator).

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'Powerful... Poignant, bleak and haunting, this is a small masterpiece.'

-Sunday Mirror

'Compulsively readable.'

-Irish Examiner

'Hill deploys her not inconsiderable power to weave a haunting story.'

-Daily Mail

'Beautifully, even lovingly, told.'


'There is something Hardyesque in the tragic momentum of this story.'


About the Author

Susan Hill

Susan Hill has won both the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards and been shortlisted for the Booker. She is the subject of one of the Vintage Living Texts. She runs her own publishing business, Longbarn Books, and edited the literary magazine, Books and Company. Her novels are set for GCSE and A Level, and her play, The Woman in Black, has been running in London's West End for 15 years.

In 2011 Susan Hill was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library, awarded to an author for a body of work.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th November 2014


Susan Hill

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


144 pages


Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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