Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.
When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.
But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.
In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…
The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.
Praise for The Illustrated Child:
'Evocative and enchanting – a future classic and a star in the making' Veronica Henry, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Beach Hut
‘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, 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
‘An extraordinary debut… beautiful, dark, haunting and unforgettable. I loved it’ Edward Carey, author of Little and The Iremonger Trilogy
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