£8.99 Not yet published
"The lady's here. The lady with the big bag. She's knocking on the front door. She's knocking and knocking. I'm not opening the door. I'm not letting her in. I'm behind the black chair. I'm waiting for her to go away."
Tomos lives with his mother, and sometimes her boyfriend. He longs to return to another place, a place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived with him there. And for Cwtch, who he had to leave behind, too. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Every day he walks there and back with the kind lady from over the road and her daughter. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he has no lunch, and when Miss notices, she offers him her extra sandwiches, which are lush. He knows that there are some things he cannot talk about - except to Cwtch - and then, just before Christmas, the difficult things come to a head. There are men outside who want to come in, and his mum has said not to answer the door. From behind his chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn't think it's Santa Claus this time.
When the men break in, Tomos's world is turned on its head and the adults around him must fight to make it right again.
"This novel should be printed on plastic paper so that the reader's ample tears don't blot the paper. Sara Gethin has given us an undeniably memorable character in Tomos, a lovable boy living in the most brutal poverty and abject neglect. It also casts light into the dark shadowlands of child poverty and should act as a reprimand to those who let it continue. Yet Gethin doesnâÂ€Â™t forget that the writerâÂ€Â™s first job is to hook the reader with a strong story and this one really gets under the skin. A deeply convincing novel that surges with emotion and compassion in equal measure."
Jon Gower, author, producer and former BBC Wales arts & media correspondent
" Heart-wrenching, captivating and beautiful... a poignant portrayal of a hostile world depicted through the eyes of a child. Gethin writes with profound depth and compassion in this exceptionally moving and powerful novel."
Caroline Busher, author
" Compelling, disturbing, enthralling... ultimately, an uplifting tale... thoroughly recommended."
Phil Carradice, writer and broadcaster
" Sara Gethin, with her impressive range of writing skills, takes us to a tragic place, a bleak corner of messed-up lives and hopelessness, but she also shows us the warm spirit of human light that can break through such darkness"
Peter Thabit Jones, poet and dramatist
Category: Fiction Novels
First published by Honno in : June 2017