Jones’s compelling debut explores childhood damage and the fragile possibility of survival against a background of buttoned-up late-1940s and ’50s middle-class life. The heartbreaking story concerns ten-year-old Lewis Aldridge, whose mother drowns while the two are having a picnic. Gilbert, Lewis’s father, has no vocabulary with which to discuss feelings, and he denies Lewis an outlet for his pain and guilt. The boy becomes numb, withdrawn from his friends, “closed and not really there.” But there’s also a well of rage within him which expresses itself when Gilbert announces a swift remarriage, and again when another boy (correctly) describes Lewis’s dead mother as “drunken.” … The only person who understands him is Kit Carmichael, daughter of bullying, abusive Dicky Carmichael, Gilbert’s boss. A confident, suspenseful and affecting first novel, delivered in cool, precise, distinctive prose.
-From Kirkus Reviews