The Shadows We Cast

What if you couldn’t recognise the violence in others? Or even in yourself?

A dark, contemporary novel about consent and control that challenges assumptions about victims and villains.

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“The catalyst for The Shadow We Cast is sexual assault. Through clever writing, understanding for both the survivor and the perpetrator is built. The gripping plot and the dual narratives show how people try to make sense of their mistakes. It’s a page turner. I will be on the look out for more novels by this debut author. Highly recommended.”
“Sarah Tinsley has penned a clever page-turner with deft use of dramatic irony. She lets us as readers know something the protagonists don’t, but keeps it really suspenseful as we’re desperate to know when the characters will work it out. This is an unflinching look at what happens immediately after sexual assault. It’s given rightful treatment as a pivotal event, and shows us not just what the victim, Nina, goes through but also how Eric, the assailant, struggles to understand consent. Sarah makes us examine how our society has shortchanged us in its lack of honest discussion. The characters are incredibly well-drawn, with due weight being given to family and class backgrounds, how those might affect their reactions to the incident. Gender issues and microaggressions, male entitlement and toxic masculinity all come into play in little ways throughout, artfully woven in to the narrative.”
“The author writes so well that you are transported to her world. A beautifully-written and well executed story that asks as many questions as it answers.”
“This book gripped me from start to finish. The dual narrative lends it great power. Out of this ‘real-life messiness’ emerges, loud and clear, a crucial, urgent message: the imperative of mutual consent.”
“This was a tough read with a well-written plot and complex characters. Hard topics are explored but ones that need to be more freely talked about to destigmatise them in today’s culture.”
“The book starts with a very powerful moment and it keeps its edge throughout. Its dark, sinister and challenges the reader in a smart way. Difficult subject matters are explored and tackled head on with a true to life story, character reactions and side characters playing their part.
Evocative, powerful, tense.”
“Sarah Tinsley’s “The Shadows We Cast” is a powerful, visceral debut, one that kept me thoroughly engrossed throughout. Following a gut-wrenching opening scene, a compelling, harrowing tale unfolds, centred on Nina’s quest both to discover the truth about a devastating event and to grapple with the trauma that stems from it. The story is told from the perspectives of Nina and Eric, and Tinsley handles her often difficult themes with compassion and skill; these characters feel real, nuanced, and human, and constitute one of the greatest strengths of what is a stunning novel overall. The writing is evocative and beautiful, the side characters are vividly rendered, and the story is an important one. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.”
“If you are looking for a dark read with a clear message that will leave you wanting to share your thoughts when you finish the book, then this is the book for you. Just be prepared to have your emotions seriously stirred.”
“I found this book very helpful, and it inspired me to go back to work on my own wip with fresh hope and enthusiasm. Sarah gave me ideas of where to focus, which may prove key to how I approach finishing the story.”