The Cellar

The Cellar

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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"From the internationally bestselling, award-winning crime writer Minette Walters, The Cellar is a harrowing, compulsively readable novel about a family of African immigrants, the Songolis, and the dark secret they keep hidden in the depths of their seemingly respectable British home. On the day Mr. and Mrs. Songoli's young son fails to come home from school, fourteen-year-old Muna's fortunes change for the better. Until then, her bedroom was a dank windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. Over the years, she had grown used to being abused by the Songoli family- to being their slave. Now that Scotland Yard has swarmed the Songoli house to investigate the disappearance of the son, Muna is given a real bedroom, real clothing, and treated, at least nominally, as a daughter. But her world remains confined. She is not allowed to go outside, doesn't know how to read or write, and cannot speak English. At least that's what the Songolis believe. Before long it becomes clear that young Muna is far cleverer -and her plans more terrifying- than the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine."
Publisher: New York : The Mysterious Press, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780802124517
Branch Call Number: FIC WALTERS
Characteristics: 177 pages ; 22 cm


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Fascinating read. I imagine it created quite a stir in UK when published as the 'crime' is rooted in some of the least desirable aspects of some immigrant family values. It was also interesting how the family looked askance at the help being offered by the white neighbours and social services.

Sep 25, 2017

Shows us what happens when vulnerable people are pushed to the edge. I found myself rooting for the perpetrator in this one. I liked it better than her other thicker books.

Jul 17, 2017

5 stars!!!!!!!!!! Awesome book !

Aug 25, 2016

Walter's books are always dark and twisty. This one is no exception. I was worried because the book is so slim, but it packs a wallop just as her bigger books do.

Aug 17, 2016

Very Interesting Read... Muna treated horribly.. Exacting revenge,on a truly messed up family... And always playing the role of a truly slow minded little girl...

Jun 17, 2016

If you like a story about revenge, which I certainly do, you'll enjoy this very well told tale of a young girl stolen from an orphanage, abused and treated as a slave, and how she turns the tables. Very satisfying.

dairyqueen Mar 30, 2016

Engaging story.

Mar 02, 2016

A bit too dark for my tastes. Did not finish the book.

Sep 01, 2015

Brilliant. Walters' strength as a writer derives from her ability to understand and write from many different perspectives, which she does here perfectly. She knows Muna so well that the reader understands everything Muna does, and why the choices she makes are really her only option. I like Walters' novels more than her novellas, but this story is engaging and complex, despite the fact that it is told from only one pov.


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