The Wrong Child

By Barry Gornell

Format: Paperback

We Need To Talk About Kevin meets TV's The Returned from the master of rural gothic. After all but one of the children in a rural village die in an accident, it becomes increasingly apparent to those left behind that the wrong child has survived.

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Freight Books

Freight Books is a new imprint focused on publishing high quality fiction for an English speaking readership. They are committed to publishing work by established writers, brilliant debuts, short story collections, forgotten classics, occasional novels-in-translation and, from time to time, poetry collections.

Product Description


21 of 22 children in a rural village die in a disaster. By chance, the ‘wrong' child, Dog Evans, lives. Crippled with survivor's guilt, his parents abandon Evans to a feral life at the margins. He is shunned by those left behind, for whom his presence is a daily insult, a reminder of unbearable loss.

We learn what took place and its shocking consequences, both for Dog Evans and the wider community. Gornell's forensic gaze dissects the lives of the bereaved, fractured relationships and existences frozen the day their children died… Deborah Cutter, seperated from her husband John, numbs her pain with alcohol and sex. Local postman Nugget holds tight to the hope that the Evans house contains valuable secrets. Parish priest Father Wittin is an embarrassing irrelevance… As grief turns to rage, the villagers' insatiable desire for catharsis in the form of one final blood sacrifice becomes unstoppable.

The master of ‘rural noir', Barry Gornell has created a mesmerising, heart-breaking examination of rural life with a remarkable note of hope within the darkness.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Freight Books
Publication Date 16 May 2016
ISBN 9781910449806
Number of Pages 272

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Press Reviews

'The Wrong Child is a startling and uncompromising story of grief and anger, of abandonment and decay. Itis intense - darker than dark - but also original and beautiful. Watch out for this Gornell fellow, folks, he is extremely good' Helen Fitzgerald, author of The Cry and The Donor

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