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The Double Shadow


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A girl tries to free herself from the terrifying double shadow of her childhood and forge her own future, but she is trapped in a memory machine created by her father.

About the Author

Sally Gardner trained at art college and went on to work in the theatre, winning awards for her costume designs for some notable productions. After her twin daughters and her son were born she started to illustrate children's books and then turned to writing. She lives in North London.


Sally Gardner's astonishing new novel for older teenagers THE DOUBLE SHADOW is intriguing, shocking and very funny. Gardner creates a cast of wonderful characters in rich, inventive and evocative prose -- Marilyn Brocklehurst THE BOOKSELLER What a mysterious and haunting book THE DOUBLE SHADOW by Sally Gardner proved to be, despite being strangely unsettling this is a book rich in atmosphere and detail -- Vanessa Lewis THE BOOKSELLER THE DOUBLE SHADOW is a brilliant, complex story of family bonds, love, cruelty, friendship and devastation - and of history and war -- Clare Poole THE BOOKSELLER This beautifully written tale of family, history and memories set against the menacing backdrop of the Second World War -- Fiona Noble THE BOOKSELLER Sally Gardner has a wondrous, almost wizardly way with words, using simple prose infused with a touch of magic. Her characters are so vividly present... the result is a very special novel -- Teresa Majury LOVELY TREEZ READS With a cast of glamourous, and warm-hearted characters this is a fast paced adventure, set during the Second World War, about a girl and a boy, and a memory machine that could alter time forever. THE BOOKBAG Gardner offers us a gripping psychological/family portrait combined with a science-fiction thriller that is outstanding. FALLEN STAR STORIES This is a mysterious, haunting and unusual book that is difficult to put into any category. The most accurate category would probably be sci-fi-historical-surreal-poetic-dreamworld-love-story. The idea of editing your memories is fascinating, but what really makes the story compelling is the individual drama. BOOKS, BONNETS AND FULL FRONTAL BLOGGING - This is a fantastic adventure, and you just can't work out quite how it will develop. It's got lots of sinister people and happenings, but also beautiful and fascinating and thought provoking ones. And I do love the setting! WWII is rarely portrayed as glamourous, and I know it wasn't really, but this still works for me. Romance, bravery and a little time travel. And let's not forget love. Love's important. BOOKWITCH Sally Gardner has again succeeded in raising her goalposts in this totally original novel which is very different to the usual YA fare, and again proves my strong belief that the best novels for younger audiences can have just as good writing as those for grown-ups and also be satisfying reads for adults too. Thank you Sally! (10/10) GASKELLA beautifully written and absorbingly clever THE OVERFLOWING LIBRARY Sally Gardner's new novel The Double Shadow - one for older teenagers and adults this time - is an ingeniously complex story set before and during the Second World War. It concerns memories and identity, how the past makes the future, and with its elements of science fiction and influences as various as Eliot's The Waste Land and the film Sunset Boulevard, it is a dark book but a beautifully, richly imagined one... CORNFLOWER BOOKS Original and atmospheric, chilling and thoroughly engrossing, this is another terrific read from a versatile author who is extraordinarily imaginative and technically skilled in equal measure. CORNFLOWER BOOKS In an era when novels by Mann Booker winners are expected to 'zip along', thank goodness young adult authors such as Gardner aren't so lacking in ambition. Her fourth novel, set in 1937 is dramatic and daring... Memories - their capture, alteration and destruction - form the core of this tale. A paranormal teen romance with rare philosophical depth. -- Suzi Feay FINANCIAL TIMES Sally Gardner writes beautifully. I was in awe of her use of metaphors and similes. You can tell that Sally used to be an illustrator, because when she writes, she not only tells a story, she paints a picture with words. She is so descriptive you not only see the landscape, you step into it... The book is breathtaking and original. One that will become a comfort read of the future, a true literary treasure to be enjoyed again and again. SERENDIPITY REVIEWS What's so amazing about 'The Double Shadow' is the absolute uniqueness and originality of the story, which has sprung from an imagination that I'm seriously envious of. It's totally different from anything else I've read that it really stands out from any other offering currently gracing the shelves in bookshops...I'm in awe of Gardner's storytelling skills and envious of anyone getting to read this book for the very first time. It's an experience you won't forget! A DREAM OF BOOKS An unusual and constantly challenging story. -- Nicholas Tucker THE INDEPENDENT ... one of those books that will be remembered by the reader for a lifetime. SFX At times the writing is so good, so visceral that you can feel the green fog of captured memories seeping out from the pages and suffocating you. -- Dinah Hall THE TELEGRAPH Strongly influenced by TS Eliot's The Waste Land, and by the early years of Hollywood movies, this outstanding novel plunges us deep into the nature of sanity and the power of love and truth to heal profound psychological wounds. The writing is thrillingly vivid, dramatic and makes for a serious treat which keeps readers on the edge of their seats all the way to the end. -- Amanda Craig THE TIMES The Double Shadow is a book about loss and damage, identity and illusion, cruelty and, ultimately healing. It's an astonishing departure for a writer who has found a new and very distinctive voice. I can't wait to see what she will do next. -- Mary Hoffman THE GUARDIAN A powerful blend of timeslip fantasy, science fiction and coming of age novel, its central theme is memory and the part it plays in constructing who we are. The School Librarian Sally Gardner has achieved yet another masterpiece, crafting an amazing story world on paper. -- Tjala GUARDIAN ONLINE At once a thriller, love story, and an exploration of memory and forgetting... I thought it extraordinary - one of those rare novels published for young readers where we are admitted to a second world charged with its writer's exceptional intelligence of both mind and emotion. BOOKS FOR KEEPS a complex story with constantly changing plots. Some emotionally challenging, but, when all the connections are made, the reader is taken on an exciting, and fulfilling, journey. CAROUSEL

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