The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce

(9.0/10) Strong visuals, compulsive mystery and high drama.

Book of the Year 2013 (see all)

“It is the summer of 1976, the hottest since records began and a young man leaves behind his student days and learns how to grow up. A first job in a holiday camp beckons. But with political and racial tensions simmering under the cloudless summer skies there is not much fun to be had.

And soon there is a terrible price to be paid for his new found freedom and independence. A price that will come back to haunt him, even in the bright sunlight of summer.”

This is assured storytelling from author Graham Joyce. With perfect placing and setting, this is an authentic look at the attitudes and the people of Britain, circa 1976.

All of the characters are convincing, with their personal agendas, flaws and demons. Through the central character of David, the microscope is put up to everyone and everything.

The seemingly innocent setting of the holiday camp hides something sinister and unsettling... or is it just David’s imagination? Joyce expertly builds the tension and intrigue, as he carefully removes each layer.

I enjoyed this not just because of its writing; it is also a true time capsule of a forgotten yet surprisingly recent era of our history. There is a real sense of impending doom approaching: not just the perceived direction the country is taking, but also the events affecting David at the camp.

I found the novel gripping, disturbing and surprising. There is also a lot of humour and excellent dialogue, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

With its strong visuals, compulsive mystery and high drama I heartily recommend this. The Year of the Ladybird is much more than a ghost story.

The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce
Published 2013 by Gollancz
ISBN: 9780575115316

Review by

15+

The Year of the Ladybird reader reviews

9/10 from 1 reviews

Write a reader review

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Your rating out of 10

More Graham Joyce reviews

Books you may also enjoy


Never Knew Another

JM McDermott
9.5/10

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu

Mercedes M Yardley
9.5/10

Dante's Journey

JC Marino
9.4/10

The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Tad Williams
9.1/10

The Hollow City

Dan Wells
9.1/10

Sandman Slim

Richard Kadrey
9.1/10

Blackbirds

Chuck Wendig
9.0/10

Following reviews


X-Men: The Hidden Years; Worlds Within Worlds

John Byrne and Tom Palmer
8.0/10

Eliminating the Possible

Adrian Middleton
8.0/10

The Days of the Deer

Liliana Bodoc
7.0/10

Gallow: The Crimson Shield

Nathan Hawke
7.0/10

The Woken Gods

Gwenda Bond
8.0/10

Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut
7.0/10

Evening's Empires

Paul McAuley
7.5/10