Catalogue Record details
The last summer of the water strider
Publication year: 2015
Media class: Hardback
Adam is 17, the only son of Ray and Evie. Life is quiet, slow, unbearably routine, in the low-rise council block in the London suburb where Adam has lived all his life. Then, one afternoon, into this oppressive inertia breezes Crazy Uncle Henry, Ray's unlikely brother. Barely mentioned, a true reprobate in Ray's eyes, reckless and irresponsible, Henry has been a complete enigma to his teenage nephew. After the sudden death of Evie, witnessed helplessly by Adam, and with school over for ever, Adam is invited by Henry to spend the summer with him on his riverboat in the West Country. With most of his possessions fitting into a nylon sports holdall and a couple of plastic carrier bags, Adam sets off. So begins for this young boy a summer full of possibility, intense heat and colour, seamed with innocence and guilt, piercings of joy and the terrible, scouring beauty of sadness.
I loved this book and not just because it brought back my own memories of those brilliant hot summers in the mid-1970s when I, too, was (relatively) young. Tim Lott is one of my favourite writers, so thoughtful, sensitive and engaging and in this novel, he really captures the zeitgeist. Highly recommended.
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