London Evening Standard Best Books of the Year: ‘A disturbing, thought-provoking tale of family dysfunction, spanning the second half of the 20th century, that guarantees laughter at the uncomfortable familiarity of it all.’
Portsmouth, 1984. Thirteen-year-old Jake’s world is unravelling as his father and older brother leave home, and his mother, Mary, plunges into alcoholic freefall. When his parents reconcile, life finally seems to be looking up. Their first family holiday, announced over scampi and chips in the Royal Oak, promises to be the icing on the cake – until long-unspoken family secrets begin to surface.
Vividly bringing to life the gentility of a 1950s childhood, the free-spirited hedonism of the Sixties, and the urban domesticity of 1980s Portsmouth, this is an intimate, lyrical and deeply moving portrait of a family crumbling under the weight of past mistakes.
An extract from Glasshopper won the 2008 Mail on Sunday Novel Competition with judges Fay Weldon and Sir John Mortimer describing Ashdown’s writing as “magnificent”.