Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Deep Secret by Berlie Doherty

This is an extraordinarily good tale. Tragedy strikes, there is confusion over twins and what seems like loss actually leads to some rediscovering some old treasures. The various strands of the plot are skilfully woven together and we are kept guessing throughout.
As a teacher of creative writing I could potentially quibble with some of the narrative techniques Berlie Doherty uses. At times the point of view shifts a little too swiftly and a little too often. I’m not sure the voice is always right for the teen reader. Yet she maintains that appropriate balance of dialogue, action, description and exposition.
The story takes place over several years with a concentration on the years in which the new reservoir is constructed and the village and valley are drowned. It’s all left a little open-ended at the end with the protagonist actually absent.