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.
THE KEEPER OF THE GATE
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.