Published by Myriad in 2014
Alarm Girl tells the story of a young girl filling in the gaps in her knowledge about how her mother died. The book is partly related by the young girl (Indy), as she and her brother visit their father’s new home in South Africa for the first time, and partly relates episodes from her mother’s life.
I was travelling in Africa when I came across a newspaper article about a woman who died on the eve of her young daughter’s birthday. The image of a mother preparing for her child’s birthday – wrapping presents and buying party food – caught my imagination and became the genesis of the book. My associations with this story and with the time I spent in Africa meant they felt intimately connected even though I use place as a metaphor as much as a literal setting. The significance of the ‘truth and reconciliation’ movement in South Africa supplied thematic resonance in terms of what cannot be spoken about (in a society, in a family) and yet what must be spoken.
Here’s what the book looked like when I was writing it:
… and here’s a trailer:
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/113099357″>Book Trailer for ALARM GIRL by Hannah Vincent</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/bosievincent”>Bosie Vincent</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
What readers say about Alarm Girl
Here are some of the nice things folk have said about Alarm Girl. Many of my favourite comments have come from readers as well as reviewers.
‘A book of heat, loss, wit and aching tenderness’ – Tim Crouch
‘Rarely has a child narrator been written so convincingly, and with so much obvious (and deserved) affection from its author… a novel slender in form, it’s a hugely sating read’ – Book group info
‘Beautifully written, the heat and landscapes of South Africa leap off the page as Indy’s story unfolds’ – Bella magazine
‘Perfectly evoking the South African setting and written with such emotional intelligence that the characters are entirely real’ – Spirit FM
‘Sensitively written, this is a heart rending tale of a young girl trying to make sense of her life’ – We Love This Book
‘In tone and content I could compare it to Nathan Filer’s The Shock of the Fall’ – Writer’s Hub: Ten Books to Read This Summer
‘Readable holiday fiction with a literary edge’ – Turnaround: Book of the Month
‘Indigo’s childish curiosity, along with her confusion about the death of her mother are blended so elegantly together […] The South African setting is exquisite […] I am incredibly impressed by this fabulous little novel. It’s short, but deals with so many issues, and the story unravels slowly but quite perfectly’ – Ann Cater
‘A moving and recognisable exploration of a family struggling to manage and openly process the death of a mother… stranded in a foreign land both literally and metaphorically Indy is left to construct her own version of the truth. Beautifully paced […] compelling but never sentimental’ – Karen Rose, Sweet Talk Productions