Colin. May. Frank. Berenice. The Prime children grew up in a bleak country farm house called The Beacon. Colin and Berenice married locally. May went to university in London, but came home within a year and never left again. Only Frank, quiet, watchful Frank, got away. He left for Fleet Street and a career in journalism but its the publication of a book about his childhood that brings the fame and money he craves - and tears his family apart.
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A moving, evocative and rewarding novel - The Times
A brilliantly eerie little tale...with a very adroitly handled contemporary theme: the misery memoir - Scotland on Sunday
The Beacon uses a small canvas, but it examines larger issues of truth, mental health and memory... Ideas about wasted lives, about grinding exhaustion at the expense of self-expression and about rank injustice are all here in a novel of great structural and stylistic control - Guardian
Magnificent...It is all done so well, so wisely, that this short book is richly satisfying...it is a little masterpiece - Daily Telegraph
Captivating... There is, from the start, a highly charged atmosphere of anxiety and ambiguity...the suspense and mystery work perfectly, and for this Hill's economy is exactly what is needed - Financial Times
Short, beautifully crafted and gripping... Hill's astute and skilful probing of motives and the ambiguities of appearances extends the reach of the novel much wider - Sunday Times
This enigmatic novella tracks the full impact of Frank's book, probing notions of guilt and truth, and deftly capturing those family bonds that warp even as they appear to nurture - Daily Mail
Compelling, cut through with sloe-sharp details as Hill exhibits complete mastery of the tools at her disposal... It is a moving, evocative and rewarding novel - The Times
Beautiful, clean prose...[an] absorbing story - Literary Review
A clever novel that's timeless in its tension-building storytelling - Good Housekeeping
A chilling tale of a farming family - Woman and Home
Taut novella - Financial Times
Misery memoirs may no longer be the flavour of the month, but according to Susan Hill's new novel, their consequences can be far reaching. In search of a quick buck, middle-aged journalist Frank Prime pens a bestseller detailing his childhood on a remote North Country farm. - The Independent
Not a word is wasted in this chilling novella - The Times
A thought-provoking story - Sunday Telegraph
This novel is short, beautifully crafted and gripping - The Sunday Times Magazine
A work of great creepiness and subtle power. It will linger 'orribly in the mind. - The Guardian
Expertly structured, her beautifully written prose as haunting as the best ghost story - Observer
From ghost stories to crime thrillers to children's novels, Susan Hill is a writer of striking versatility. 'The Beacon' is a literary novel - done to spectacular effect - The Telegraph Review
Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of 56 books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough and educated at King’s College London. She is married to the Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and they have two daughters. Susan Hill was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Honours.