The History of a Word 02/07/20
Publisher: Chicken House
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has no idea what is happening to her when she is kidnapped from Bangkok Airport and finds herself trapped in the Australian outback. Her captor, Ty is young, handsome and convinced he is in love with her, and as she learns more about him, Gemma realises to her horror that he has been following her for years. Now she is trapped - alone with him in a lonely, desolate and unfamiliar wilderness, completely cut off from the outside world. Under the glare of the Australian sun, can Gemma find a way to escape her captor - or will the sheer force of Ty's love begin to take effect?
Taking the form of a letter written by Gemma to Ty reflecting on her strange months in the outback, this is an impressive and compelling debut, which neatly avoids stereotypes and clichés. Christopher conjours up a powerful sense of place, vividly depicting the particular atmosphere of the outback, its strange beauty and its fierce heat. An intense story of love, obsession, desire and forgiveness, Stolen is truly captivating - a worthy winner of the Branford Boase Award.