October 23 2016
I have absolutely loved this book. Written from the perspective of the ten year old Leon, the book tells the story of Leon's experience of living in the care system in the 1980s. Leon is mixed race, but his baby brother is not, and when his mother is taken into mental health care, he and his brother are sent out to Foster care. His brother is very quickly adopted, leaving Leon to process the loss of his family alone.
While it sounds harrowing, the book is at times funny, poignant, and devastating, but was a really good read. It is also really well researched, which makes a huge difference. Kit De Waal came from a family who fostered children, and as an adult worked in the legal system and served on adoption boards, as well as advising social services. She also used her advance from Penguin to set up a bursary for those wishing to study Creative Writing at Birkbeck who are struggling to finance their studies. One very interesting lady!