Eve’s older sister, Rosie, was bright and alive and always loved being the centre of attention. Then one day, she is brutally murdered. Six months later, Eve meets Antony and discovers that he was there the night Rosie died and did nothing to help. Is there any way she can ever get past that? Inspired by the Sophie Lancaster murder in 2007, which saw Sophie and her partner Rob viciously attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire because of the way they dressed. This is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss, forgiveness and about our society and communities.
Hate is a powerful story, a moving story and a story that speaks volumes! It forces the reader to sit up and take notice….also think!
This story is inspired by the tragic murder of Sophie Lancaster. It very powerfully pushes home the standing up for who and what you are point fantastically. Alan Gibbons tackles these very tough topics with great care and attention to detail. He makes the reader think and also to ask questions that they probably would of never thought of before.
I thought about why people hate, what causes someone to cause so much harm to another person? One act of unprovoked senseless violence ruins not only the lost life but a wide reaching span of people – who’s lives become shattered. Why can’t people be free to be themselves and why is being different any business of anyone else’s anyway?
In this storyline we have Eve, who’s sister died after a completely unprovoked attack. It’s about Eve and her family trying to repair their lives and get justice. It’s also about Anthony, a witness of the murder who never tried to stop it or give evidence. Both stories are moving and emotional.
Hate is a gripping story that is both beautifully and honestly told. It’s enlightening to see all the different sides and points of view and how the event effects everyone in different ways. I would love to see everyone read this and be inspired to make a change and end the hate that is everywhere around us in today’s society. What happened to Sophie Lancaster was truly tragic and should never be allowed to happen again. Take a stand – end the HATE!
4 / 5 Stars!
*Special thanks to Indigo for the review copy*
To a certain extent, all stories are ‘real-life’ stories. Most are inspired, at least in part, by events that occur in the news or are heard about first or second hand. Art does not float about in some ethereal, alternative universe to the everyday world. The books, paintings, films, sculptures, poems and songs people produce are part of their social reality. The most finely-wrought fantasy says something about the way we conduct our day-to-day lives, even if it is by trying to imagine a world completely different to the one in which we live.
So what about a novel like Hate, based on a true story, the murder, in 2007 in Stubbylee Park, Lancashire of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, a young student with her whole life in front of her? The details of the case are in the public domain. Sophie’s murder was the subject of a high-profile trial in Preston, two plays, Simon Armitage’s Black Roses and Ian Kershaw’s Porcelain, a non-fiction book by a local journalist and a campaign by Sophie’s mother Sylvia against hate crime.
When it came to writing my novel, in which Sophie becomes the fictional Rosie, I had an advantage, the research was there in the form of the facts and a disadvantage, I could not alter what had happened to suit the development of the novel without reducing the power of the book as testimony.
The core of my research was not the reading of the non-fiction book on the case, the newspaper articles or the court record. It was a long interview with Sophie’s mother Sylvia herself. What I had to hear, harrowing as it might be, was the response of a family member to what happened. The family’s story, in the form of the witness statement written by Sylvia, was never given a full, public airing. The two dramas and my novel may, in some small measure, give Sophie a voice from beyond the grave, a plea for empathy and humanity. It is the only possible good to come out of a shocking evil.
The next job was to work in the fictional character of Anthony Broad, the ‘Bad Samaritan’ who failed the murdered girl, who did not intervene and has to carry the burden of guilt for his inaction. The tension between the murdered girl’s fictional younger sister Eve and Anthony are the engine that drives the book. Will he learn from his earlier moral failure and be redeemed as a decent human being? In this way, fact is transformed into fiction.