An affecting and stylistically brilliant debut novel. It’s making waves, having been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award – and, before that, being the subject of an eleven-way bidding war from publishers keen to get their hands on it.
The author, recently having competed a creative writing MA, has worked as a mental health nurse for 12 years- and this (along with the author’s writing skill) is what underpins the novel.
The central character (and narrator of the story) is experiencing schizophrenia after the traumatic death of his older brother in childhood. We view the whole story from the inside of Matt’s head and it is a heart-breaking place to be. Matt is a whole person, loving, angry, caring, humorous and bitter- his schizophrenia isn’t allowed to be all we see of him, but we do see how fully it has him in its grip.
The story is revealed in fragments, so I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling your enjoyment- but this is an excellent read, imaginatively told and brimming with compassion and understanding.