28 Feb 2012



A young boy lies curled up in his bed-chair in the corner of a tiny tenement room. Just feet away, his mother screams as his father lashes out at her. But as the last tram of the night comes down the hill outside his window, he focuses on the sound it makes, and lulls himself to sleep.
....... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): If my father, Robert John Douglas, had been killed in North Africa or Italy during the Second World War, I know that for the rest of my life I would have looked at the few photographs of him and mourned our lost relationship. 

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 124): The idea of joining the library filled my mind. Was it really as easy as that? Did they really let ye borrow books for nothing and keep them in the house for up to a fortnight?

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Most certainly I'll be keeping this and adding the second instalment, Somewhere To Lay My Head, to my wish list.

Before I even begin reviewing this one I feel the need to say that it is my humble opinion that the blurb on the back cover is not not a particularly true representation of the book as a whole as though Robert's abuse at the hands of his father is indeed chronicled it plays only a minute part it what is a largely life affirming memoir.

Beautifully written and full of wry humour, this is a wonderful tale of a young boy growing up in an environment poor in material things but rich in friendship and community spirit. The story of a boy who has such an extraordinary relationship with his mother that at times I was almost reduced to tears.

Highly recommended, I really enjoyed the reading of this and even though some of the narrative was written in the vernacular I personally didn't have any difficulty in following it as to be fair there was only the odd sentence here and there as opposed to pages and pages of it and, if nothing else, the context generally provided some pretty accurate clues which helped greatly. 


Mary (Bookfan) said...

This sounds like a memoir I'd enjoy. Thanks for telling us about it!

Kelly said...

You make this one sound very appealing, Tracy.

Vivienne said...

Sounds good. Though I don't always enjoy memoirs.

You won a prize on my blog today. I just need your address to post it to you.

John McElveen said...

Tracy- you make me definitely want to Check this out!! Can you do that?

Seriously--great review!


Suko said...

This book does sound particularly touching. Lovely review!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

This sounds very uplifting despite his hardships. Oh I do hate it when the blurb doesn't match. At least you got past that to enjoy it. Great review.

tattytiara said...

You do indeed make it sound appealing. Without catalyst, though, I find my ability to read (or watch movies or hear reports etc)about abuse to be declining sharply. I don't know if I've just reached a personal critical mass or what.

anilkurup said...

Your words seems to tempt a read of the book. The sound of the tram acting like a lullaby... that is a cute wonder of imagination

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

this one sounds like a book i'd enjoy.
thanks so much for sharing.

i've been thinking about you, tracy.

sending big hugs to you, my dearest!


Claudine G. said...

Hi Petty, I found your blog through Gina's, and I love the Velveteen Rabbit (or should I say Skin Horse) quote on your banner!

This book sounds fascinating. I'll put it on my to-read list. Thanks for sharing it.


....Petty Witter said...

A great read, I really enjoyed it. Nice to see you Tatty. A warm welcome to you Claudine, thanks for stopping by.