From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a compassionate, compelling new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality.
‘It’s delicious, it’s dear, it’s heart-breaking and very funny’ Rachel Joyce
‘An incredibly beautiful story told with compassion. Nothing is wasted.
Each sentence is beautifully crafted’ Joanna Cannon
1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother’s quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.
When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice. Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale’s new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.