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My rating: 4 of 5 stars


When twelve-year-old Billy’s eight-year-old sister is diagnosed with cancer, it shatters their happy and loving family. To see her suffer for months before a painful death tear’s them all apart. Billy’s father takes to drink, his mother has an affair and Billy is left to grieve on his own.

When Billy’s father he finds out about his wife’s infidelity he is heartbroken. He begs her to stay, but unrepentant she leaves him for her lover and asks Billy to come with her. But he opts to stay with his dad.

A year later having heard nothing from his mother, they receive a letter in post from her solicitor filing for divorce. The settlement forces them to sell the house and move into a bedsit, which Billy hates. He is now torn between his mother and father but it seems his mother is more interested in her partner than him.

After losing his job, Billy’s father hit’s rock bottom and again turns to drink. Then out of the blue he announces they are to move in with his mother again. Is this true, or is something more sinister going on?

                                                    BOOK REVIEW
Billy's story is a testament to those who possess a certain inner strength that keeps them moving despite every roadblock (literal & figurative) thrown their way. Those same people are also loners or introverts like myself. After the death of his sister, Billy's family is forever fractured. His mother begins a same-sex affair. His father finds comfort in the bottle. Billy is left on his own and it appears unloved and unnoticed. When his father is charged with an unspeakable act, his life is upended once again. It would seem that Billy from his youth to adulthood can't seem to catch a break. The character was subjected to one negative experience after another. I think Perks handled character development well and had a good handle on capturing the emotional turmoil experienced by the characters in the book. This story touches many emotional elements so if you are looking for a feel-good story or something light this is not for you. If you want to see the gritty and dark side some people experience, I think this is for you.

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