The Illustrated Child

Paperback edition released 29/10/2020

by Polly Crosby

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Book Club Recommendations Debut Books of the Month Debuts Family Drama Star Books Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Illustrated Child

A darkly stunning, vivid and evocative debut, so beautiful and unique, we’ve included it in our LoveReading Star Books.

Our November 2020 Book Club Recommendation

Click here to see our Reading Group Questions.

A powerful, provocative, and darkly stunning debut. This is a book that tore my heart into pieces while simultaneously showing me the wonder of love and imagination. Romilly’s childhood is one of fame and isolation when her father includes her as the main character in his books for children. While the world believes that the books lead you on a treasure hunt, a more private and heartbreaking journey awaits Romilly. This isn’t an easy read, but it is a beautiful one. Polly Crosby somehow balances some incredibly difficult issues with a sense of wonder, she really does have the most eloquent pen. The prologue has huge impact, sweet, sharp, and bitter notes struck my awareness, and I reread the words before allowing them full access into my thoughts. I initially felt as though I was stepping into a half remembered mysterious photograph. As bites of reality began to appear, they caused a mental and physical ache for all that was lost and uneasy. As the ending settled and I sat back and contemplated, I concluded that it was the most pure and perfect conclusion. Romilly is so special, she has taken up residence inside my thoughts, and she is more than welcome to spend time there. The Illustrated Child is a vibrantly unique and thought-provoking read, it has been included as one of our LoveReading Star Books, and will sit as one of my favourite novels of the year.

Liz Robinson

The Illustrated Child Synopsis

A picture paints a thousand lies... 'Evocative and enchanting - a future classic' Veronica Henry 'An extraordinary debut... beautiful, dark, haunting' Edward Carey 'A captivating coming-of-age story... dripping with atmosphere' Daily Mail 'A bewitching read' Woman & Home Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past - but she knows that she is loved. When her father finds fame with a series of children's books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize. But as time passes, Romilly's father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether. In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages... The truth. The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby. Praise for The Illustrated Child: 'Evocative and enchanting - a future classic and a star in the making' Veronica Henry 'An extraordinary debut... beautiful, dark, haunting and unforgettable. I loved it' Edward Carey 'A captivating coming-of-age story with memorable characters beautifully brought to life in a setting dripping with atmosphere' Daily Mail 'Part fantasy, part coming of age, the undercurrents of child neglect and mental ill health pull at you all the way through this poignant tale' Heat 'A bewitching read' Woman & Home 'Written in fine, delicate prose, this treasure of a debut takes up the palette of emotions and paints with all the colours. Beautiful' Nydia Hetherington 'Exquisitely written, stunning, totally unique. Everyone needs to read this' Jessica Ryn 'A magical tale, beautifully written, evocative and mysterious, and stitched through with a dark thread that I wasn't expecting. What a wonderful book' Anita Frank 'A beautifully written tale that evokes dreams and imagination' Daily Record

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008358419
Publication date: 29th October 2020
Author: Polly Crosby
Publisher: HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:

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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008358440
Publication date: 08/07/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008358402
Publication date: 29/10/2020
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780008358419
Publication date: 29/10/2020
Format: Paperback

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About Polly Crosby

Polly Crosby lives in Norfolk with her husband and son, and her very loud and much-loved Oriental rescue cat, Dali. To find out more about Polly's writing, please visit Polly can also be found on Twitter as @WriterPolly.

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