Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
This book really engaged me from page 1. It’s a story of two brothers, Jammy & Sonny, one off to Afghanistan and one who stays at home on the housing estate with his mother.
Both brothers are fighting their own battles. Jammy both with the insurgence, the reason he went to war in the first place and the guilt he feels that his best mate followed in his footsteps. Sonny, his younger brother, battles with a forbidden relationship with his friend’s sister and the fact that he can never seem to live up to his brother, certainly not in his mother’s eyes.
Sonny struggles to keep things going in his brother’s absence, trying to make his mother proud and keep food on the table.
I empathised with all the characters in this book and wanted a happy ending, although from the start it didn’t seem that was how it was going to pan out. Intertwined with the main story are the lives of the two brother’s best friends. The side characters are just as interesting as the main ones and you want things to work out well for them.
On return from Afghanistan Jammy takes the incidents that happen at war very hard, and suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder with dramatic results. It’s then left to Sonny to try and pick up the pieces of his brother’s life. Jammy is 18 years old and Sonny only 16 and used to his older brother taking care of him and his mother, now it’s the other way round. There isn’t the happy ending you wish for but there is true friendship, love & hope for the future.
The book tackles war, drug addition, poverty and most of all guilt but it’s a great read and not heavy or hard going. It is however emotionally moving and I had a tear in my eye as the story comes to a close.
Phil’s writing is absorbing and kept me turning page after page. It has certainly inspired me to read more of his books. Highly recommended.
RRP: £6.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.