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Publisher's Summary

"Tense, addictive and powered by an unforgettable narrative voice." (Paula Hawkins)

"Gripping.... The voices of Chrissie and Julia reside deep in your skull: visceral and wicked, sad and wonderful, all at the same time." (The New York Times)

"Fans of Lisa Jewell and smart psychological suspense will eagerly await Tucker’s next." (Publishers Weekly)

"So that was all it took," I thought. "That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn't so much after all."

Meet Chrissie....

Chrissie is eight and she has a secret: she has just killed a boy. The feeling made her belly fizz like soda pop. Her playmates are tearful and their mothers are terrified, keeping them locked indoors. But Chrissie rules the roost - she's the best at wall-walking, she knows how to get free candy, and now she has a feeling of power that she never gets at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer.

Twenty years later, adult Chrissie is living in hiding under a changed name. A single mother, all she wants is for her daughter to have the childhood she herself was denied. That’s why the threatening phone calls are so terrifying. People are looking for them, the past is catching up, and Chrissie fears losing the only thing in this world she cares about, her child. 

Nancy Tucker leaves the listener breathless as she inhabits her protagonist with a shocking authenticity that moves the reader from sympathy to humor to horror to heartbreak and back again.

©2021 Nancy Tucker (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Gripping, unsettling debut novel.... Chrissie’s observations are immaculate, loyal to her age and her desperation.... By the end of the novel, the voices of Chrissie and Julia reside deep in your skull: visceral and wicked, sad and wonderful, all at the same time.” (The New York Times Book Review

"A stunning debut.... Suspenseful? You bet. Heart-rending? From beginning to end." (The Washington Post

“Too original to be missed.” (PopSugar) 

What listeners say about The First Day of Spring

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Heart Wrenching

For my entire adult life I’ve believed that the saddest book I ever read was The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. As of today, the saddest book that I didn’t quite complete was this book, The First Day of Spring. I have generally been a fan of some very dark murder mysteries. In terms of film, I’ve always been drawn to very stark and real dramas. I had to stop reading this book with about three hours left because I could not take any more sadness, any more reality. While this book is incredibly well-crafted and honest, you need to be prepared for one of the most tragic stories ever written. If that’s what you’re into or if that something you challenge yourself with, then you will love this book. I for one had to return it because I could not hear one more memory of cruelty or one more painful event happening in the present. Buyer beware!

25 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

This book reinforces the adage that "hurt people hurt people," which should make it unbearable to read but it was so well done that it doesn't. The book gradually spools out more and more details of Chrissie's/Julia's life and we begin to see why Chrissie/Julia acts the way she does (all bolstered by the author's degree in psychology from Oxford). It is such a fascinating, engrossing book - even funny and hopeful - and amazing that it's the author's first fiction novel. I didn't want to put it down but I also really didn't want it to end.

If you're sensitive to child abuse and neglect content, this might not be the book for you, but I will say that none of it is gratuitous and it all fits into the overall novel.

Narration was excellent.

9 people found this helpful

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Immensely moving

This book brought out so many emotions. To realize children can and do live like this is unbearable. There were humorous tidbits but the story was so dark I felt bad snickering at them because of the dark and sad tale lying underneath. I had a little trouble at the beginning keeping up with the characters. I don’t know if I just wasn’t listening well enough or what, but it took me a little while to get into the story. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about this book. That may sound crazy, but it’s a book that I will be thinking about for quite a while.

7 people found this helpful

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Neglect and hunger

I rarely write reviews this one deserves it. It is an unflinching look at severe neglect. Some people just shouldn’t have children. Neglect is child abuse, this book examines the psychological damage and it’s affects on so many. A pebble thrown into the lake, watch the ripples.
Beautifully written, characters that you will take with you. The narrator was spot on. Listened twice. Cannot wait for the next one by Tucker.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Wow! I could not stop listening. The narration was terrific and the story is witty yet heartbreaking. This isn't one of my normal selections but I am so glad I chose this. I needed a break from the same old mystery/thrillers that seems to disappoint more and more these days. Highly recommended and totally worth the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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Dark and beautiful.

Very dark story. Beautifully written, beautifully told. The narration was perfection. I was fascinated and could not stop listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Favorite book this year.

Believe me when I say I paused this book between chapters to update my husband every time the story progressed. I could not keep it to myself. Incredible writing, tragic plot, gripping pace, and suspense that holds up until the very end. Much of the book is narrated from a child's perspective, in a voice that feels nostalgic and natural rather than cliche or unbelievable. I felt like I could see the world through this little girl's eyes so well. I typically don't enjoy time-jumps between chapters, but hearing the perspective of young Chrissie vs. adult Chrissie is fascinating. If you like books that deal with parent-child relationships, crime, suspense, and/or psychology, I can't recommend this book enough. I'll be thinking about these characters for a long, long time.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

This is my first time actually writing a review beyond the stars. This book was so good i felt compelled. The First Day of Spring was raw, honest, painful and humorous. The narration was perfect. This struck so many feelings in me as a school
Social worker. I loved every second.

1 person found this helpful

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A brilliant novel that I couldn't stop listening

🄰🅄🄳🄸🄾🄱🄾🄾🄺 🅁🄴🅅🄸🄴🅆

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝑫𝒂𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝑺𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈
𝙱𝚢: Nancy Tucker / @nancycntucker
𝙽𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚘𝚛: Kristin Atherton
𝙶𝚎𝚗𝚛𝚎: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
𝙿𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚛: @penguinaudio
𝙿𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝙾𝚗: May 18th 2021
𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 4.05
𝙼𝚢 𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚛𝚎: 👩‍👧 👩‍👧 👩‍👧 👩‍👧 👩‍👧 / 5 Mother Daughters

Ⓟⓡⓔⓜⓘⓢⓔ

𝑴𝒆𝒆𝒕 𝑪𝒉𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒆...

Chrissie is eight and she has a secret: she has just killed a little boy. The feeling made her belly fizz like soda pop. Her playmates are tearful and their mothers are terrified, keeping them locked indoors. But Chrissie rules the roost -- she's the best at wall-walking, she knows how to get free candy, and now she has a feeling of power. A power like God. She never gets feels like that at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer. Chrissie is alone and without anyone to care,

Twenty years later, adult Chrissie is living in hiding under a changed name. A single mother now, all she wants is for her daughter to have the childhood she herself was denied. That’s why the threatening phone calls are so terrifying. People are looking for them, the past is catching up, and Chrissie fears losing the only thing in this world she cares about, her child.


Ⓜⓨ Ⓣⓗⓞⓤⓖⓗⓣⓢ

I have witnessed something so indescribable readers. I urge you all to hold your kids close, talk to them, play with them, share things with them and just be there for them. I myself have yet to have children. And I know that things can be hard, scary and trying at times. No one is perfect, far from it but some of the characters I have read within these pages need help and no one around them did anything. Some people are just not meant to be parents. I wish there would have been someone around for Chrissie's sake, because then maybe she wouldn't have turned out the way she had.

Some have an opinion on the whole nature vs. nurture concept. And in this case, I believe in Chrissie's case there was no nurturing. There was a lot of things that was missing and never taught to her. It was horrible and very sad, it made it tough sure. But it also made her angry, standoffish, hard in the heart & in her soul.

This story will make you feel things so deep, like in your soul deep, like something you've never read or felt before. Reading these pages or in my case listening to them is like driving past a car wreck, you don't want to look but you can't stop.

Nancy Tucker weaves us through a story of such pain, hurt and emotions, it's truly the most depressing but yet deepest book I've ever read. It will eat at you and live within you afterwards. The sympathy and heartache are real just as real as Chrissies empty stomach.

1 person found this helpful

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The Characters Will Stay With Me

Much of the time I listen to a novel, enjoy it, and then it's gone from my mind and memory. The characters we come to know in this novel are unforgettable.

1 person found this helpful