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The Reach of Children Hardcover – Special Edition, 19 Sep 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Humdrumming; Special edition edition (19 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905532598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905532599
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,054,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An unsettling novella that dwells on the grief of a young boy who suffers through the lingering death of his mother, and then watches his father fall apart in the aftermath. The story is lightweight, centred on a mysterious box under the father's bed from which a sleepy voice can be heard, and events uncurl with a slow unease that's very infectious. The ending, which I can't say much about without affecting the reading of the bulk of the story, came as a disappointment after the build. It felt neat, and for me failed to address many of the ideas and themes raised along the way. With that said, this book isn't really confined by its plot. It's the portrait of loss that makes it compelling, and Lebbon makes for a compassionate and slightly sinister guide through the complex and often contradictory emotions surrounding this.
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Format: Kindle Edition
THE REACH OF CHILDREN, by Tim Lebbon, is a deeply emotional tale--with some horrific elements--that deals with the different form "grief" takes when a loved one dies, untimely. The novella begins with a relevant quote from Brian Aldiss--"When Childhood dies, its corpses are called adults."

Lebbon begins with ten-year-old Daniel waking up to his Father telling him that his Mum had just passed away. Although we are given enough to believe that she had been slowly dying in her room for some time prior, the news presented in this manner starts our story out with an instant outpouring of sorrow for the family, and rivets the reader's attention firmly to the page. Immediately, we are thrust, along with Daniel, into a type of wake in the family's home, while they wait for his "Mum" to be taken away. In Daniel's own mind, there is a stark division between the way adults process death, and how they aren't quite sure how to be around him.

". . . Something about grief appeared to make Daniel invisible . . . he sensed a difference between himself and the grown-ups that seemed difficult to cross . . . the spaces between words said much more than the words themselves."

As Daniel and his Father--with help from his Father's good friend, Gary--go about adjusting in their own ways to this huge void now in their lives, Daniel begins to sense something . . . off . . . about his Father's secretive mumblings behind his closed bedroom door . . .

At its heart, I felt this was a brilliant tale about a great loss, and how a boy struggles to go on with all the changes wrought around him. Daniel is forced to acknowledge some difficult truths regarding his Mother's early passing. ". . . She had talked to him about dying.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I seem to be reading books at the moment with really difficult subject matters. In The Reach of Children, 10 year old Daniel is going through an extremely difficult time. His mother, after a period of illness, has passed away. Daniel’s father melts down. Drinking heavily, grief makes him forget Daniel. As Daniel tries to wade through the murky river of his own grief, he starts to notice something strange is happening in his parents bedroom. Who is that singing?

The Reach of Children really tugs at you heart strings. Daniels grief is so perfectly written, along with the reactions of those he comes into contact with. Tim Lebbon captured the difficulty that people have when dealing with grieving.

Of course, as this is Tim Lebbon, it has a twist. I’m not going to tell you that though!

I would imagine that writing from a 10 year olds point of view is difficult. From my reading experience, when pulled off well, it lifts a story. That’s what Tim Lebbon manages to do in The Reach of Children.

This is a short read, more of a novella. However, it’s certainly time well spent. 4 stars.

****Disclaimer – I would like to thank Tim Lebbon, Endeavour Press and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my honest review and all opinions expressed are my own****
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