by William Wall
Irish teenager Josephine works as a childminder, but what the families who hire her don't realise is that her own childhood, with a drunken single mother and her various unsavoury boyfriends, has left a terrible legacy. The first victims are Dr and Mrs Casey, who hire thirteen year old Josephine to live in and help look after their baby girl, leading to divorce and a near-fatal illness. She then moves on to an American couple, who watch the sunny personality of their young son inexplicably darken before tragedy strikes. A convincing and disturbing portrait of a mind damaged by the experiences of childhood, which succeeds in making Josephine at once sympathetic and frightening.
ISBN: 0340751908 Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton 16/8/2001 £6.99 RRP Paperback
'Taut as a thriller, scarifying as a horror story, but finely written and eerily evocative ... a book you won't forget in a hurry'
Arminta Wallace, Irish Times
'I enjoyed MINDING CHILDREN enormously, he is such a writer - lyrical and cruel and bold and with metaphors to die for'
'Wall's portrait of Josephine is utterly convincing...this is an intimate tale, well told, that draws the reader into a world both familiar and frightening.'
Derek Hand, The Irish Times
[A] beautifully written novel, with...layers and layers of fine writing like snowdrifts...Wall brilliantly, relentlessly, reveals how our natural senses of superiority ensure that we can be completely taken in by the simple, good face worn by genuine evil.'
Dina Rabinovitch, The Independent
'A deeply affecting and sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young woman'
Anne-Marie Flanagan, Irish World
'[A] haunting, compelling novel...Wall has succeeded in producing a rare thing: a page-turning work of literary fiction.'
Sue Leonard, Books Ireland