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“That’s where I should have started the story. I sat for ages in the dark, with my head in a swirl. My thoughts were spinning round and round, like clothes in a washing machine. Bruising, I thought. Alcoholic. Social worker. Foster care. Scum. School. Measles. Cow. Mobile phone. Danielle. That was the beginning. But I’d forgotten that until now. I mean, it’s amazing what you can forget …”

It all started when Gramma died. And then Jonathan and Julie had only apples for dinner. Apples, an alcoholic mother, and one big bruise on Julie’s face. Jonathan had no choice but to pack their schoolbags and run away, far from Ma …

Until the police catch up with them and take Julie away and lock up Jono. And through his questioning, Jonathan must finally confront the real truth.

A powerful tale of one boy’s mission to protect his younger sister … no matter what the cost.


The central voice is extremely engaging.
'The characterisation is sharp and strong, the settings very skilfully etched, the storyline compelling ...'
Robert Dunbar
A richness and complexity.
very difficult to put down. The reader is drawn in... and needs to know how it ends.
Believable and heart-rending story.
Independent on Sunday
Books For Keeps