The First Day of Spring

The First Day of Spring

Discover the year’s most page-turning thriller


'Tense, addictive and powered by an unforgettable narrative voice.' PAULA HAWKINS

'A darkly dazzling debut, a harrowing story of neglect and cruelty written with a delicate touch and a big heart. As gripping as the tensest of thrillers and as moving and humane as the most intimate of memoirs.' LISA JEWELL

'An exceptional debut which both chilled and moved me from the very first page. I cannot overstate how much I loved this book.' CLARE MACKINTOSH
'So that was all it took,' I thought. 'That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn't so much after all.'

Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands.

Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn't get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.

Fifteen years later, Julia is trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried - about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away.

That's when the phone calls begin, which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it's clear the caller knows the truth about what happened all those years ago.

And it's time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?
'The First Day of Spring is Nancy Tucker's first work of fiction and MY GOD this is OUTSTANDING.... This book is so powerful and so disturbing that I will be thinking about it for months to come. Without a doubt this goes into my Top Ten Books of 2021' TRACY FENTON

'A gripping, unsettling debut novel ... By the end of the novel, the voices of Chrissie and Julia reside deep in your skull: visceral and wicked, sad and wonderful, all at the same time.' ABIGAIL DEAN

'The First Day Of Spring is a gut-wrenching tale about the effects of neglect and loneliness on a child. Eight-year-old Chrissie's voice is so raw and authentic that I could not stop turning the pages, desperate to find out what she would do next. A harrowing, incisive debut.'
STEPHANIE WROBEL, author of The Recovery of Rose Gold

'Chilling, thought-provoking, and compulsively readable, The First Day of Spring is a novel that will break your heart on every page and never leave you. I loved it.' ASHLEY AUDRAIN, author of The Push

'Tucker wastes no time grabbing the reader in her chilling debut novel ... a riveting thriller in every sense, but Tucker is asking big questions, too. Can society forgive the unforgivable? Does everyone deserve a second chance? She forces us to reconsider the perils of poverty and neglect. A chilling suspense novel about guilt, responsibility, and redemption.' KIRKUS

'A spectacular fiction debut . . . The taut, meticulously observed narration mines the dangers that childhood trauma causes. Fans of Lisa Jewell and smart psychological suspense will eagerly await Tucker's next.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

'This sharp-edged and highly discussable book is difficult to put down.' BOOKLIST

'Exquisite ... You won't be able to stop looking - or reading, for that matter.' B&N READS

'A stunning debut... Suspenseful? You bet. Heart-rending? From beginning to end.' WASHINGTON POST

'Stylish, cunning ... Tucker follows one woman's reckoning with the quarantines of her childhood, seeking love amid dark secrets hiding in the nooks and crannies of all our lives.' OPRAH DAILY


  • An extraordinary and heart-rending novel'

About the author

Nancy Tucker

Nancy Tucker is a trainee Clinical Psychologist. Her memoir of her childhood struggle with anorexia, The Time in Between, was published in 2015. Her follow-up, That Was When People Started to Worry, an examination of young women's mental health, was published in 2018. The First Day of Spring is her first work of fiction.
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