Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.
Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn’t get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.
Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried – about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.
That’s when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it’s clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.
And it’s time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?
I haven’t felt like this for a long time. This heaviness. This sadness. I think the last time I felt like this was after reading A Little Life. The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker was a shocking read but it was so important, so unforgettable, so heartbreaking and it is no doubt one of my very favourite reads in 2021. “Favourite” probably is not the right word given the subject matter but my heart, I don’t think I will ever forget about this book, ever.
What happen when a eight year old little girl killed a two year old little boy? What happened? WHY? I have never read a book like this, the narrative was so unforgettable but at the same time was so harrowing that it pierced your soul. It would break your heart into millions pieces. Through the uniqued lenses of an eight year old and a grown up, the story intertwined with past and present and gave us the pieces we need to understand the life story of an eight year old little girl.
I always believe it is never the fault of the children, it is always the fault of the parents, the grownups, the society has failed this little girl. I felt this incredible sorrow while reading this book. Child abuse and child neglect were what happened. Every child deserved a parent but not every parent deserved a child. They failed her.
The First Day of Spring is not an easy read in any sense. It is an important look into children’s psychiatric breakdown and mental health illness. It is such a devastating story but is also a powerful book to show that people do overcome adversity with the love they deserve and the help they need. It is a controversial book too. It makes you think hard, make you question yourself whether you have the heart to give people a second chance, whether everyone deserves a second chance.
I do think you need to read this book. Again it is not an easy read but you need to. It is important. My heart is heavy but that’s the way it should be. Children are the most precious things in the whole wide world. We should do everything we can do love them and protect them.
Thank you so much Hutchinson Books for gifting me this unforgettable book to review.