Small Spaces is a spooky, suspenseful read from Australian author, Sarah Epstein. It’s Epstein’s debut book and the kind of YA psychological thriller guaranteed to have you wishing you read it in the safety of daylight and not into the small hours of the night when every sound scares you silly.

Seventeen-year-old, Tash Carmody lives in a small town on the New South Wales coast. Nine years prior, at the age of eight, Tash witnessed the abduction of her friend’s little sister. The catch is that the abductor was Tash’s imaginary friend, Sparrow. Nine years on and Tash starts to again be haunted by Sparrow. Readers, along with Tash, question her mental health and are left wondering how dangerous Tash can be to her friends and to herself.

Tash has compelling and believable conflicts with her friends, parents (particularly her awful mother), therapist, and even her own mind.

Small Spaces is a thoroughly compelling and unpredictable read. It is well-structured with a perfect sprinkling of red herrings. When I wasn’t worried about Tash being a totally creepy sociopath, I enjoyed her character. Equally so, was my intense dislike of Tash’s terribly selfish and loathsome mother.

I can’t wait to see what Epstein writes next.

Publisher’s Blurb

Small Spaces is a gripping YA thriller from debut Australian author Sarah Epstein, perfect for fans of Fleur Ferris. 14+.

“We don’t pick and choose what to be afraid of. Our fears pick us.” Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing. As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?

“A beautifully crafted psychological thriller. I couldn’t put it down.” Fleur Ferris


Read Maggie Jankuloska’s recent interview with Sarah Epstein in the Marauder Literary Journal.

Find out more about Sarah Epstein.