Illustrated Child
Polly Crosby, Read by Rosie Jones

Book cover image

Narrated By: Rosie Jones

Duration: 12 hours and 17 minutes

What to expect

A young girl.

A hidden treasure.

A dark family secret.

‘Evocative and enchanting – a future classic' Veronica Henry
‘An extraordinary debut… beautiful, dark, haunting’ Edward Carey
‘A captivating coming-of-age story’ Daily Mail
‘A bewitching read' Woman & Home

Romilly Kemp has an idyllic childhood, roaming the wilderness that surrounds her father’s ramshackle farmhouse. But when he makes her the star of his beautifully illustrated books, her carefree if somewhat lonely existence is threatened.

The books are thought to hold clues to an elaborate treasure hunt, and strangers turn up at their door, anxious to get a glimpse of the ‘Kemp Treasure Girl’. But when her father falls ill, leaving Romilly more isolated and alone than ever, she begins to delve deeper into the books – and her past.

As she makes sense of the clues he has hidden, she finds a truth that is far darker and more devastating than any treasure hunt has a right to be. For not everything that is hidden is gold.

Praise for The Illustrated Child:

'Evocative and enchanting – a future classic and a star in the making' Veronica Henry

‘An extraordinary debut… beautiful, dark, haunting and unforgettable. I loved it’ Edward Carey

‘A captivating coming-of-age story with memorable characters beautifully brought to life in a setting dripping with atmosphere’ Daily Mail

‘Part fantasy, part coming of age, the undercurrents of child neglect and mental ill health pull at you all the way through this poignant tale’ Heat

‘A bewitching read' Woman & Home

‘Written in fine, delicate prose, this treasure of a debut takes up the palette of emotions and paints with all the colours. Beautiful’ Nydia Hetherington

‘Exquisitely written, stunning, totally unique. Everyone needs to read this’ Jessica Ryn

‘A magical tale, beautifully written, evocative and mysterious, and stitched through with a dark thread that I wasn’t expecting. What a wonderful book’ Anita Frank

‘A beautifully written tale that evokes dreams and imagination’ Daily Record

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction, Crime & mystery fiction

Listen to a sample

Praise for The Illustrated Child:

'Evocative and enchanting – a future classic and a star in the making' Veronica Henry, Sunday Times bestselling author

‘An extraordinary debut… beautiful, dark, haunting and unforgettable. It is a most wonderfully tender nightmare, a haunted-house childhood where the landscape gets ever stranger, a deeply affecting portrait of the climb towards adulthood. Nostalgic, familiar and yet utterly strange. I loved it’ Edward Carey, author of Little

‘A captivating coming-of-age story with memorable characters beautifully brought to life in a setting dripping with atmosphere’ Daily Mail

‘Part fantasy, part coming of age, the undercurrents of child neglect and mental ill health pull at you all the way through this poignant tale’ Heat

‘A bewitching read' Woman & Home

‘Written in fine, delicate prose, this treasure of a debut takes up the palette of emotions and paints with all the colours’ Nydia Hetherington, author of A Girl Made of Air

‘Exquisitely written, stunning, totally unique. Everyone needs to read this’ Jessica Ryn, author of The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside

‘A magical tale, beautifully written, evocative and mysterious, and stitched through with a dark thread that I wasn’t expecting. What a wonderful book’ Anita Frank, author of The Lost Ones

‘A beautifully written tale that evokes dreams and imagination’ Daily Record

‘A unique and bewitching treasure to read’ Woman

‘A promising debut novel … full of atmospheric tension’ Mail on Sunday

‘[A] gem of a read’ Good Housekeeping

‘A celebration of the beauty and dark mystery of [Norfolk] … a stunning novel’ Norfolk Magazine

‘Beautifully written… mesmerising’ My Weekly

‘Crosby weaves a magical spell in which dark-edged fantasy collides with everyday life’ Publishers Weekly