The Hurting

Set against the backdrop of the dramatic landscape of Norway’s icy fjords, vertiginous mountains and vast dark forests, The Hurting is inspired by Nordic noir with a fairy-tale twist of the cautionary kind and contains more than one passing reference to Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

English teenager Nell, a gifted singer-songwriter, has moved from Manchester to Preken Rock in rural Norway with her devoutly Catholic but also at times abusive and alcoholic father and seriously ill, older sister Harper who suffers from cancer. As the only family member capable of looking after Harper, in the absence of their mother whose presence nonetheless haunts the pages of this book, Nell suppresses her own aspirations to study music in London. But everything changes when she meets the wolfish Lukas, who fascinates Nell and exerts an irresistibly strong influence over her. Gradually as the plot unfolds we learn why Nell and her family have really moved to Norway, secrets from Lukas’s childhood past and his plans for Nell and her family.

A dark tale with many twists and turns which should appeal to a young adult readership.