If you want to know why an anonymous author refers to the Low Countries as 'the buttocks of the world', this is your book. Belgium here is not the land of Poirot or even Tintin, but of drunks and general ne'er-do-wells. And at the heart of the book, there is a boy who takes all that the world, and especially his family, can throw at him. You will really want to find out where he ends up and how he gets there.
My father wasn't home when we had breakfast. And he wasn't home at dinnertime when my grandmother kept the green beans warm in case he showed up. My uncles weren't either, but they hadn't expressly stated that we could expect them. And that afternoon I ran my race with brand-new spikes without the pressure of a parental supporter on my shoulders.