An 18-year-old girl and a charismatic cult-leader, both damaged by their pasts. A summer of strawberries, freedom, heat, temptation, passionflowers and murder. Twenty-five years later, an old woman with secret reasons for visiting the cult-leader in prison. And a final twist.
The book is partly inspired by my fascination with the Jonesville massacre in 1979, a tragedy which I remember seeing splashed on the front pages of newspapers when I was 17. Over 900 people died, men, women and children, in a mixture of suicide pact and murder. How could people believe one man so strongly that they would take their own lives and those of their children, believing that they would go to heaven? How?
The Passionflower Massacre seeks to show how that could happen. It affirms my own motto: “Believe nothing, whoever has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it accords with your own common sense.” That is a Buddhist saying. I’m not a Buddhist; I have no religion. But it underpins my belief and faith in reason
In a cowardly new world, the Citizens are free from suffering and pain, all their decisions made for them by the apparently benevolent Governators. But the Outsiders risk their lives to fight for real freedom, free will and the power of language. When a virus strikes, four chosen teenagers will need courage beyond imagination. If they can’t solve the City’s chilling secret, they will all die, along with Hope.
16-year-old blogger, Charlea Harrison, on the new double ebook edition: “These two novels were the first that I had ever read as an eBook, and at first I was apprehensive as to whether the experience of reading would be the same… Luckily for me, I was presented with two books teeming with imagination, originality and loveable protagonists. What more could you ask for?”
Only available as an ebook through Amazon
Two YA novels, both originally published by Hodder, now republished as one ebook. (Double value!) Two deep, fast-paced, mind-stretching, coming-of-age thrillers, appealing particularly to readers who enjoyed my most recent YA novel, Wasted. Sleepwalking won the Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book of the Year and both novels were popular with readers and newspaper reviewers.
Books for Keeps: “Ensuring that her readers are gripped from the opening pages, Morgan encases a story of family tragedy and teenage anxiety within a tautly constructed thriller. We are confronted by the mystery of an old woman who seems to be motivated by more than altruism in her role as a prison visitor; in counterpoint, doubts are raised about the repentance for some hinted at terrible deed by the prisoner she visits. […] Morgan builds tension and a feeling of uncertainty about unfolding events, set against sultry summer days where Matilda’s perception of reality begins to blur. […] The novel reaches a dramatic climax, on the way revealing bit by bit, insights into the complexities of the characters. Gripping and well-written, her latest book consolidates Morgan’s reputation as an exciting new talent.”
Carousel Magazine: “…confirms Nicola Morgan as a dramatic, thought-provoking, powerful writer for young people. This book more than lives up to the promise of her earlier publications.”
Julia Eccleshare, Guardian Children’s Book editor, on Lovereading: “The vulnerability of adolescents who want to belong is sharply captured in this scary story of Matilda’s terrifying encounter with a dangerous cult.”
The Independent: “A compelling and scary read.”
Sunday Herald: “Morgan is a verbal sculptress, creating images of vivid physicality so that the world of the Outsiders and Citizens is entirely credibly drawn, even disturbingly so. The twist at the end is chilling, even on re-reading, and establishes the possibility of a sequel.”
Books for Keeps: “This is an excellent sci-fi thriller, which also manages to articulate a passionate plea for literacy and dissent.”
The Independent: “… a turbulent story of revolt where it really matters – in this case, the overturning of a tyrannous state where humans are reduced to zombies. Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World provide models for this awful society, whose all-powerful computers have come to be guided by these two stories. But four teenagers – brought up in an outcast, still-free society – decide to change things for good by invading central control and feeding in more cheerful tales as exemplars. This is Morgan’s third novel, and as before she writes with intelligence and feeling.”
The Scotsman: “… Sounds a bit like Nineteen Eighty-four? It’s meant to and Morgan plants echoes of other stories, such as Through the Looking Glass and Brave New World, throughout. This is a novel about the importance of language and individuality, and the power of ideas and stories. But you don’t need to recognise the references to enjoy the novel. It’s a fast-paced, thrilling sci-fi adventure in its own right.”
Guardian (Education – Book of the Week): “Nicola Morgan’s rich imagination means she’ll never be typecast. Her first novel, Mondays are Red, is hard to categorise as its subject is the very real, but very bizarre, condition synaesthesia. Fleshmarket is a historical thriller, and Sleepwalking casts her readers into a deeply spooky future, to a time in which people choose to live a life that is utterly controlled. … Morgan’s clever play on names and her mining of classics of the genre helps to make this an intriguing read, as well as a thrilling one.”
The Observer: “…post-apocalyptic world, sometime in the far-off future. … its whimsical mix of ingredients – too many to list here – makes it worth indulging. And there’s a pleasing twist in the tale.”
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