01/05/2009. Contributed by Pauline Morgan
pub: Humdrumming. 89 page enlarged paperback. Special Edition Price: £25.00 (UK), $50.00 (US). Very Special Edition Price: £25.00 (UK), $25.00 (US). All very limited, folks and the company has folded.
check out websites: www.humdrumming.co.ukand www.timlebbon.net and www.noreela.com
This is an exquisite little book.
There are very few books or authors that can pack so much emotion into the first page as Tim Lebbon has done here. It begins with a moment that no child wants to go through, the moment when your father has to tell you that your mother is dead.
Daniel is ten years old when this happens. He knows it is going to happen. It is something the family has been living with for some time. The reality of it is a different matter.
The rest of this novella tells how both Daniel and his father try to come to terms with what has happened. Children are resilient but particularly at emotional times, their imaginations catch and hold onto things that are not necessarily real.
As his father starts being secretive and forbidding him from entering his bedroom, Daniel begins to believe that his father has hidden a girl in a box under the bed. He remembers stories of a man who lived alone in the woods and had kept a girl alive in a box in a hole and wonders if his father is doing the same, especially when he thinks he can hear the girl talking to him.
Daniel's father tries a different route. He starts drinking too much and what is left of family life begins to fall apart. It is only the friendship of his father's friend, Gary, that keeps things from going terribly wrong.
This is a beautifully written study of grief seen from the child's point of view. Lebbon shows a deep insight into the way minds work in such situations. Read this book, though, with a box of tissues handy.
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