Claire Adlam’s novel This Might Sting a Bit (Quickfox) is a witty take on dark matters. The Hay family are farmers in Zimbabwe, with a quirky grandpa who holds them all together. Teenage Chris, the eldest child, is a classic wild child, whereas his 16-year-old sister Kat is generally the sensible one. Yet it is Kat who suffers two accidents, leading to a lifetime of chronic pain. The doctors’ dosing her up on prescription painkillers sets the scene for a long battle with addiction. Her mother Gill leads the crusade on Kat’s problem, but, as a recovering alcoholic, lets a few skeletons out of her own closest. Described as a “laugh-while-you-weep story”, This Might Sting a Bit is a tale of survival and family, a witty take on some dark issues. Read the first chapter below.