The House on the Edge

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Pub Date 1 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 1 Jul 2021

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A tense thriller that’s impossible to put down – perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Fleur Hitchcock.

Where has Faith’s dad gone? Why has he left his family living in an old house perched on a crumbling cliff top? A crack has appeared in the cliff and Faith watches anxiously as it gets bigger and bigger each day… Her brother is obsessed with the sea ghosts he claims live in the basement, and when he disappears as well, Faith starts to believe in the ghosts too. Can she find her brother and bring her father back before everything she cares about falls into the pitiless sea below?

A great mystery with real heart, from a captivating new voice in middle-grade fiction.

A tense thriller that’s impossible to put down – perfect for fans of Emma Carroll and Fleur Hitchcock.

Where has Faith’s dad gone? Why has he left his family living in an old house perched on a...

Advance Praise

"This incredible story will have you gripped all the way." - Moonlane Books Ramsgate

"The House on the Edge takes cliff-hangers to a whole new level! There are so many twists and turns and suspense, mystery and spookiness delivered in spades." - Emma Kuyateh, Primary Teacher Bookshelf

"Ghosts, grief, mysteries, adventure and smugglers! Faith is an engaging and delightful narrator and I was propelled along by a taut and exciting plot!" - Ian Eagleton, author

"Absolutely wonderful. I adored every sea-soaked page." - Eloise Williams, author

"This incredible story will have you gripped all the way." - Moonlane Books Ramsgate

"The House on the Edge takes cliff-hangers to a whole new level! There are so many twists and turns and suspense...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781788008624
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 28 members

Featured Reviews

A thrilling story from former bookseller Alex Cotter, brimming with cliff-hangers (literal and metaphorical!), adventure, ghosts, shipwrecks, plot twists and heart-warming characters with real-life problems to navigate. Faith has been successful in keeping others away from her house, because if somebody comes in, they’ll know. They’ll know that ever since her Dad disappeared, Mum has been spending all day in bed. They’ll know that Faith is the one who is caring for her little brother. They’ll know about the crack in the garden that seems to be getting bigger every day. And if they know, they’ll be forced to leave. When her brother’s obsession with the sea ghosts that apparently live in their basement gets out of hand, adults start to take notice - so Faith has no choice but to lie. However, all lies have consequences and everything seems to be going wrong. Will Faith be able to keep her family and their home together before everything she knows goes over the crumbling cliff-edge? Full of mystery and with a dose of the supernatural, The House on the Edge is perfect for Key Stage 2 readers who enjoy a spooky read without it being too frightening. Alex Cotter’s close narrative style makes the reader feel as though they are in the head of the main character Faith and gives them a real sense of who she is as a person, including her sense of humour and the ups and downs of a turbulent family situation. The background to the story enables parental mental health issues and the experiences of young carers to be considered empathetically by readers. The story is accessible for children at different stages of their reading journey, including those less confident, and the promise of shipwrecks, smugglers and thrilling adventures near the sea is likely to pull in a wide audience of children. This story would be a great addition to KS2 classrooms and libraries – its links to coastlines and the erosion occurring will make the issue real and relatable to children, providing lots of opportunities for discussion and cross-curricular learning too.

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What a great book! I absolutely devoured The House on the Edge, consuming it in one sitting, such was my desire to unravel its mysteries! I found it totally unpredictable, beautifully poignant and full of wit and charm. The characters are believable and likeable while the storyline was fast-paced, intriguing and totally unique. I would certainly add this book to my Year 5 classroom bookshelf and know it would be enjoyed by many.

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What a wonderful book! Full of twists that keep you on your toes and the story keeps you reading long after you should have gone to bed!! The story follows Faith, a young girl who lives in a house on the edge of a cliff with her mum and brother Noah. We find out that Faith’s dad left a while ago and her mum isn’t taking it very well, so Faith looks after them all.....Whilst trying not to worry about ghosts in the basement, the crack at the end of the garden getting bigger and managing school! The book is wonderfully written and explores grief through a young persons mind, there’s lots of metaphors in the book which just make the story much more interesting. There’s also action and adventure in the book - Noah is convinced there’s a ghost in the cellar and wants to find treasure, whilst Faith has all the action in school and managing adults who think they know best!

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I read the whole book in one sitting. I was gripped from beginning to end. The character of Faith really resonated with me because I felt the pressure she was under the whole time, feeling like her whole life would collapse at any moment. I love this kind of story where there are clues all the way through to help you piece together what has happened in the past but it still throws a few twists and turns at you.

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The House on the Edge is a story of life on the edge: on the edge of family break down, on the edge of loss, on the edge of everything falling apart. Faith and her little brother, Noah, live with their mum in The Lookout – a strange, old house that sits on the very edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. For years, it flashed a light to warn ships of the rocks below but now it is falling apart and a crack in the garden hints at trouble to come. Mum hasn’t been the same since Dad left. She hardly gets out of bed and Faith is left to care for them all. Responsibilities, anxieties and lies told to keep strangers away build up until she just can’t cope anymore. When Noah talks about a ghost in the cellar and the voices of the old house get louder, Faith has to do something. Perhaps the Preservation Society can help save the house but can it help with the mysteries deep inside? Stories of shipwreck, treasure and ancestors with dark secrets show Faith there is so much more to the House on the Edge than meets the eye. This story has one of the strongest voices I have ever read. The character of Faith is gripping – readers feel every bit of her panic and her urgency to protect her home and family. This is a captivating story of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. Young readers will be swept away in this brilliant combination of folklore and modern family issues. Thank you to Nosy Crow for this fantastic book!

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Loved this book from start to finish, so much so that I couldn’t put it down and completed it in 1 sitting. A must for any upper primary aged children.

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Faith's life is full of instability. Her father has gone, her mother is struggling and the cliff edge they live on is crumbling into the sea. When her younger brother, Noah, disappears too, Faith must find a way to bring their family back together and save their house before time runs out. Alex Cotter deals with some big themes here, such as grief, mental health, young carers and difficult family dynamics, but they are sensitively managed. Faith's character and the gravity of her situation brings a real sense of pace to this story which propels the reader along. The House on the Edge will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat!

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The House on the Edge is a thrilling, poignant mystery that kept me utterly captivated throughout: a story of past and present; of loss and healing; and, of community, friendship and family. Faith lives in an old house, The Lookout, perched precariously on the edge of a cliff which is in danger of being lost to the sea as cracks form in the garden, but the house is not the only thing that is in danger of being lost … Faith’s family is in danger of falling apart after the disappearance of her father which has left her mother’s mental health in a very fragile state. Faith is trying hard to support her mother, her younger brother Noah and herself. Noah is obsessed with the notion that there is a sea ghost living in their cellar, a ghost who is looking for lost treasure. Meanwhile, her Uncle Art is determined to take ownership of her family home. Will Faith be able to save her family home before it is taken by the sea, or her uncle? When Noah goes missing, Faith finds herself on a mission to save not only her home, but her brother … This is a wonderfully atmospheric read with oodles of intrigue that kept me on the edge-of-my seat as I was mesmerised by the tantalising twists and tragic truths hidden within family history and local legend. I loved how the history of The Lookout was reflected in both the past and the present in tales of sea ghosts, sacrifice, greed, shipwrecks and lost treasure, a reflection of the past filtering through to, and impacting on, the present … Faith is an incredibly sympathetic young girl. She is angry and trying to hide it; she withdraws from her friends; she protects herself through denial and lying: such an authentic and heart-breaking portrayal of a young carer who is lost, scared and hurting, and who struggles to allow others to help her, trying to remain invisible in order to hide her family problems from others. I felt that her emotional journey was very sensitively portrayed as she comes to accept and forgive, showing great courage and strength in doing so. This is a wonderfully heartfelt, gripping mystery that I would highly recommend to those of 9+.

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