Glasshopper Review: “an outstanding debut”


“Set in 1980’s suburban Portsmouth; this is an intimate, lyrical and deeply moving portrait of a family crumbling under the weight of past mistakes. Balancing Mary, the mother’s own story against ten turbulent months of her son Jake’s life; this perceptive novel tells of the irrepressibility of the young teenager when his father and brother leave home and his mother plunges into alcoholism. Jake while still hero worshipping his father and supporting his brother occupies his thoughts with saving for his own hi-fi system, a growing interest in Greek mythology, which has more to do with his pretty classics teacher and watching out for his mother. After a visit to Mary’s estranged sister causes his mother to control her drinking and reconcile her relationship with his father, Jake is delighted when the first family holiday abroad is planned. Until when in rural France long-unspoken family truths begin to surface and his personal odyssey unwittingly brings about a dramatic conclusion. This is an outstanding debut novel.”

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