Beverley Birch spent her childhood roaming vast plains and deep forests near her home in East Africa, dreaming of becoming an intrepid explorer in fantastic, far-away places. Instead she became a writer, and explores people and places through her books. She travels widely, and says, ‘Wherever I go, I’m fascinated by the way people and events of the past seem to me to leave a gleam, or a shadow, or a resonating murmur of sound in a place. In a way, that’s where all my stories begin.’
Her novels range over time-travel, mystery-thrillers, ghost stories, and adventures and are set in Italy, Scotland and East Africa. She also writes picture books, biographies, narrative non-fiction, retellings of folk tales and classic works, and collaborations with her husband, photographer Nick Birch. Critically acclaimed, and translated into more than a dozen language, she has been nominated for the Carnegie medal, and shortlisted for awards here and abroad.
RIFT is that delightful thing, a book which holds you from the first page. It's a fine book, with heroes to cheer and baddies to hiss at, with a satisfying ending and yet resisting the desire to tie up every single detail - readers are allowed to finish some of the jigsaw puzzle for themselves
Marcus Sedgwick, Guardian
Set in Africa, this is a fragmented enigma, the story of a school trip gone mysteriously wrong, with not only several students but also a journalist gone missing in a wild, rocky region. … stylised, sophisticated and richly atmospheric …
A tightly written, highly entertaining novel. Vibrant and haunting, RIFT will hold readers’ attention well after they’ve finished reading the last page.
Few time-shift stories are as well conceived and realised as THE KEEPER OF THE GATE. ... a time journey all the more convincing because it is for the most part matter of fact ... Beverley Birch excels at suggesting the many levels at which things go on in a family, and children's ability to keep several preoccupations, inner and outer, serious and trivial, active at the same time.
Times Educational Supplement
A confident debut. An enjoyable, strongly written book with meat on the bones to provoke thought.
Breaking up the pattern of a visionary adventure there are anxieties in daily life ... sub-plots and themes concerning conservation and land-use and a sweep of history make this a substantial book with a strong atmosphere ... and two eager children walking calmly into dangerous experiences to bring the story closer to young readers.