This moving account of a father-son relationship, which seems constantly doomed to confrontation and misunderstanding, is unsparing in its honesty. The pared-down writing, with bursts of raw, unflinching dialogue, conveys the confusion and agony of the teenager's struggle to come to terms with growing up in a deprived, broken home. The reader winces for Jacob as his father tramples unthinkingly over his creative spirit in an effort to toughen him up, while admiring the father's uncompromising spirit of survival.
What are you drawing there?
Can see that. What's it called?
Femur. Largest in the body.
A lot of weight-bearing responsibility.
Aye, so don't sit on your arse all night.
Get some food in that belly of yours....lovely piece of fish in the fridge. Perch......Some spuds and peas with it, not a bad wee nosh.
Sounds good, dad.
Time you had a good haircut, too. Look like a mop.
Not that skinny.
Skin and bloody bone, boy.