Author: Sadie Jones

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 347

Price: $24.95

In a nutshell: This tragic debut novel is an excellent work, the story of Lewis Aldridge, a young boy who suffers terribly as he grows up in 1950s suburban England, where reality is not what it seems on the surface. Lewis is the only person who witnesses the accidental drowning of his mother, and he is legitimately disturbed by it and will talk to no one, especially his overbearing father. As Lewis grows up, he talks rarely, always to women. The people in his suburb come to hate him, even though they don't know him. At 17, he is sent to prison for arson, but he is not welcomed back as the prodigal son. In her ability to thoroughly envelop the reader, the author is gifted.