Thornhill by Pam Smy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As she unpacks in her new bedroom, Ella is irresistibly drawn to the big old house that she can see out of her window. Surrounded by overgrown gardens, barbed wire fences and 'keep out' signs, it looks derelict. But that night, a light goes on in one of the windows. And the next day she sees a girl in the grounds. Ella is hooked. The house has a story to tell. She is sure of it. Enter Thornhill, Institute for Children, and discover the dark secrets that lie within.But once inside, will you ever leave?
When this arrived in the week I was intrigued, to begin with it was a mamouth read, something that can be intimidating, however it looked like a completely different type of read and I was looking forward to read something a little different.
I began this today and finished it in an hour and 20 minutes, so don't be put off of the size of it. I thought this was very cleverly put together, we follow two girls in this story split 30 years apart but linked by one location. You get more into Mary's head, who lived at Thornhill (an orphanage) in 1982, we also meet Ella, who loves opposite 30 years later. We read the thoughts of Mary through a sequence of her diary and follow Ella's story through the illustrations.
Although this is not my normal genre I really, really enjoyed it, it was different and I would love to read more by Smy. I really got into the story and I never saw the ending coming, which I was shocked about and felt a little sad at the same time, I thought I knew Mary quite well through her journal but I began to question my opinion on her at the end. It reminds you the power of illustration and how you can read so much through it. I would recommend this book to middle graders or young adult, however being an adult I enjoyed this and feel the book will stay with me for some time.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.