The blurred boundaries between life and death, love and hate, joy and sorrow, wild and tame form the heart of this dreamlike story.
Tyneside boy Davie sets off a few weeks after his father’s death to wander aimlessly through town on a hot, sunny summer’s day. He encounters a friend who shares the titillating news of his discovery of a dead body—a slightly older boy apparently killed in a knife fight with a young man from a rival family. Short chapters describe Davie’s conversations as he rambles about, seeking the chief suspect. Along the way he stops for conversations with a disillusioned priest, two little girls playing an imaginative game of fairies, an old man who lost a leg in a mining accident, a woman who shares a fantastical story of a baby lost and found, and a veteran who gently nurtures his flourishing garden, among others. Dreamy, artistic Davie loses himself in his imagination and in the contradictions of the untamed beauty of his surroundings: larks and buzzards, buttercups and abandoned coal pits. Touches of humor, pithy words of Northern common sense, and moments of heightened tension and mystery provide grounding elements in the midst of the reverie. All characters in this English town appear to be white.
A haunting tale of embracing transformation and finding beauty in an imperfect world. (Fiction. 12-adult)