Sophie by Guy Burt

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“[Sophie] combines the creepy narrative power of a young William Golding with the disturbingly accurate memory of what it is like to be a child. . . . So good that one can only wonder what [Burt] will do next.”
—The Times (London)

In a dark room of a dilapidated house, as a storm rages outside, Matthew lights a candle and places it in the center of the floor. Its light spreads across the wall and illuminates Sophie, tied up in a chair facing him. She is frightened, fearful of what he might do next. But for now, it seems, all Matthew wants to do is talk. Talk about the events of nearly twenty years ago, about their strange childhood, and about the summer when Sophie grew up and everything changed . . . forever.

Young Mattie and Sophie lived in a world seemingly without constraints. Their cold mother barely paid attention to her children. Their father, a mere shadow in their lives, was never home. So Mattie and Sophie had the run of the gardens and the woods beyond. They played youthful games, but Sophie was extraordinarily intelligent, a fact she took great pains to hide from her teachers, so as not to stand out. Sophie was everything to Mattie, and he worshiped her. He wanted to know her secrets, the things that went on inside her brilliant mind. But Sophie was changing. And the summer before she went away to boarding school, the things she had worked so hard to conceal would come spilling out—and Mattie would have to live with the shocking consequences.

Now he’s all grown up, too, and Matthew wants answers to the questions that still darken his mind—no matter what the cost. . . .

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Guy Burt

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Guy Burt won the W. H. Smith Young Writers Award when he was twelve. He wrote "The Hole," his first novel, when he was eighteen, and his second novel, "Sophie," soon thereafter. Burt attended Oxford University and taught for three years at Eton. He lives in Oxford. "From the Hardcover edition.
Published July 1, 2003 by Ballantine Books. 224 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sophie

Kirkus Reviews

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As Mattie’s memories approach the day when 13-year-old Sophie is to go off to boarding school and leave Mattie alone with their mother, the identity of the monster in the family becomes less clear, and his captive realizes she’s not the first “Sophie” to hear the story.

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Publishers Weekly

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Over the course of six years—from the time Sophie is seven and Mattie five—Burt tantalizes the reader with unsettling glimpses of Sophie's cunning, disturbing plans and shows how Mattie follows Sophie's lead with the love and admiration of a younger sibling.

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