It is the summer of 1969 and ten-year-old Mal is finding it difficult to settle in to his new home, a housing estate on the outskirts of Belfast. He befriends a brash and rebellious teenager, Francy, who revels in his own status as an outsider and has set up camp in the local dump.
But this is no ordinary summer – the civil rights marches are beginning, and the simmering sectarian tensions of the Larkview estate are set to erupt, hastening Mal’s painful, shocking, loss of innocence.
‘a passionately engaged portrayal of a troubled boy and city’
‘Remarkably assured … Patterson’s novel, needless to say, is neither afraid nor prejudiced, but courageously magnanimous.’
‘A novel of visionary power that sees through a child’s eyes a Belfast about to explode into sectarian strife.’
‘one of the great novels about Ulster at the start of its Troubles’
‘This is a very good novel and deserves your immediate attention.’