Sad. Heart breaking. Beautiful.

The story of Leon, a (nearly) 10 year old boy who has his family pulled apart. Set during the 80s in England where social services are struggling, the threat of terrorism is present, and racism is still commonplace.

We follow Leon as he moves through foster homes and tries to find a way back to his family.

The writing employs a technique whereby the style is told from perspective of Leon's 10 year old mind, typically I'm not a fan, but it works well for this story. In particular the last section of the story, Leon finds himself in a rioting scene and the torrent of words and fear and confusion roll right off the page - I finished the last 1/3rd of the book in a single (1am) sitting.

I liked that this was something different for me to read, and a relatively short-ish read (without feeling short). I also liked that the story didn't try to wrap a neat little bow on the end of the story, this isn't a fairy tale - but something that feels real and it ends in a way that's tinged with sadness and happiness at the same time.

A lovely read.