Longing to escape his unhappy home life, a troubled English teen becomes dangerously involved in a local legend about a mysterious white hare.
Since his mother’s death, 14-year-old Robbie has expressed his anger and grief by setting fires, resulting in an arson conviction. Hoping for a fresh start, his family relocates to a village in rural Somerset. Alienated from his father and father’s girlfriend, Robbie spends his time outdoors with Mags, an enigmatic local girl. She tells him of the local legend that a woman jilted in love can return in the shape of a white hare, bringing death to her former lover. Still mourning his mother’s death and full of rage toward his father, Robbie is haunted by images of the white hare as well as a deceased friend of Mags’. Why did the girl kill herself? What was her connection to two local bullies? Why is Mags so protective of the white hare? Grappling with these secrets, Robbie discovers he may be the quarry in a legendary hunt for the white hare. Spot art evokes the pastoral setting. All characters are white apart from three black students, one of whom is a friend of Robbie’s.
Finely tuned prose, a rich sense of place, magical folklore elements, multidimensional characters, and a well-paced plot create a suspenseful contemporary tale of grief, retribution, and healing. (Fiction. 12-14)