Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be hosting today's stop on
My Name is Leon Blog Tour
What's it all about..
|Published by Penguin Random House|
Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. Their mum isn't feeling herself, so they've gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.
Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
What did I think about it...
Life isn't easy for Leon, and even from the start of the novel, when Leon's baby brother, Jake is born you can sense that the emotional attachment that Leon feels for Jake goes far beyond the ordinary bond of affection between siblings.
At the start of the story, Leon is a vulnerable eight year old with more than his share of life's woes upon his slender shoulders. His mother, Carol is both dejected and defeated by the hand that life has dealt her and this manifests itself in areas of neglect towards her children which is difficult to read. And yet, there is no doubt that Carol loves her children but she simply can't cope with the responsibility of caring for them, and so we start the story of Leon and Jake's involvement in the 1980s social care system.
My name is Leon is a story seen through the eyes of a vulnerable child for whom both parental responsibility and social welfare failed him. Its language is simple as befits the understanding of a child, however, it's not without impact and there were times when I read Leon's story with a whopping big lump in my throat. You can't help but fall in love with Leon; he has a huge heart and a capacity to understand what's going on even though at times he seems bewildered by a system that had the ability to break families into a million pieces.
The author writes well and engages her reading audience from the very start and in bringing Leon to life she has created a hero worthy of our love and affection. There is no doubt that the story is heartbreakingly sad in places but throughout the story there is also an overwhelming belief in the power of the human spirit.
Best Read With.. One of Maureen's dinners and a curly whirly...
More about the author an be found on her website by clicking here
Follow on Twitter @kitdewaal #MyNameIsLeon
My thanks to Josie at Penguin Random House for the invitation to be part of this blog tour.