Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Eleven-year-old Indigo Taylor and her older brother Robin have been living with their grandparents since the death of their mother, Karen. Their father has been setting up a new life and business in South Africa and now Ian is keen for his children to join him. As a taster for their potential new lifestyle, Indigo and Robin travel to South Africa to spend Christmas with their father. But Indigo isn’t entirely comfortable with the new life Ian has carved for himself and she begins to question what actually happened to her mother, growing increasingly suspicious about the lack of detail surrounding her death.
Alarm Girl is quite a short read at just under 200 pages but it is packed with drama and emotion as the story of Indigo and Karen unfolds. The book switches between Indigo’s recount of her South African holiday and Karen’s story, detailing her past and her relationship with Ian as well as her death. I loved the childlike voice of Indigo and felt for her as she struggled to come to terms with the loss of her mother as well as trying to adjust to her father’s new life. I found myself quickly drawn into the young girl’s world and devoured the pages as I was keen to find out what would happen to her and what she would uncover about her mother. I was a little confused as the narratives switched to begin with, but the shift in time and characters soon became clearer and I became more and more invested in Karen’s story, particularly towards the end.