Small Spaces

“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?

YA Psychological Thriller
Ages 14+ | 384 pages

ISBN: 9781921977381
Publisher: Walker Books

Small Spaces Discussion Guide

• Winner of the YA Fiction Award, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2020
• Winner of the Davitt Award for Best Young Adult Crime Novel 2019
• Honour Book in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2019
• Shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2019
• Shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards 2019
• Shortlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards 2019
• Shortlisted in the Aurealis Awards 2018
• Shortlisted for The Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2018
• Shortlisted for the Davitt Awards Best Debut Crime Book 2019
• Longlisted in the Indie Book Awards 2019

SMALL SPACES has been optioned for film by Triptych Pictures.

“This stunning YA psychological thriller will set hearts racing and even have adults searching for silhouettes in the dark. Wow.”

The Herald Sun

“Small Spaces is a clever, highly entertaining read and an impressive debut from a thoughtful writer who knows how to weave contemporary concerns of mental illness through a story with stampede intensity.”

Better Reading

“This spine-tingling, shiver inducing psychological thriller is one of the most impressive YA debuts I’ve read in ages. With its twisty-turny plot, super-creepy atmosphere and deeply relatable characters, Small Spaces is impossible to put down and a legitimate threat to any reader’s peace of mind.”


Small Spaces is good, terrifying fun and I highly recommend it for all brave souls 14+ who love reading.”


“Small Spaces is a fast-paced, tightly crafted psychological narrative that is hard to put down. This is a refreshing, rollercoaster thriller that blurs the lines between truth and fiction and keeps you guessing until the end.”

Judges’ comments, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

As debuts go, this one is stunning. It is a clever story, superbly told. Epstein has shown a classy hand with a psychological thriller that lives up to the cliche of being hard to put down.”

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

Fleur Ferris, YA Author

Small Spaces is a deliciously creepy YA thriller that reeled me in, made my heart race and kept me guessing to the very end.”

Rachael Craw, YA Author

“This gripping debut messes with your head and makes you doubt your own senses. With Small Spaces, Sarah Epstein smashes it out of the park.”

Ellie Marney, YA Author


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