Saturday 10 July 2021

Little Big Love

Finished July 7
Little Big Love by Katy Regan

This novel is told in three voices: Zac Hutchinson, who is ten years old; his mother Juliet; and his grandfather Mick. A few months before Zac is turning eleven, he witnesses his mom at the end of a disappointing date, the first date she's had in a long time. That night, she makes a surprising confession to him, one that she doesn't remember making the next day, but that impels him on a mission that he was already thinking of. That mission is to locate his father, Liam Jones. Liam was supposedly the love of Juliet's life, but has not tried to stay in touch with her or be part of Zac's life. 
Zac's grandmother talks about what a bad person he was, really demonizing him, and his grandfather seems to agree. Zac spends a couple of days a week at his grandparents after school, bonding with his grandmother through baking and with his grandfather with nature documentaries. 
When Zac was just a few weeks old, his uncle Jamie died in an accident, but the whole truth of that night has yet to emerge for everyone. Zac himself has been told one story, and he has been focused on his similarities to his uncle, such as their common interest in cooking creatively. 
Zac's best friend Teagan is his co-conspirator in his mission and she has her own issues, living in a damp apartment, struggling with asthma, and missing her own dad who has remarried and seems to want little to do with her anymore. 
Zac is also struggling with being bullied due to his weight. And soon after Juliet's disastrous date, Juliet has her eyes opened to this struggle.
The two kids are great characters, smart and creative, and they really do their best to follow up every clue in their search for Liam. Juliet is a good mom, who is struggling herself with the loss of Liam, the responsibility of raising a child on her own, and her own self esteem issues. But she takes Zac's situation seriously and works to make healthier decisions going forward. 
Mick is a recovering alcoholic, who started his journey to sobriety a few months before Zac was born, and has always felt inferior to his wife. He struggles with the choices he has made, and it is only toward the end of the book that we see how his self esteem and feelings of precariousness in his relationships made the situation what it is now. 
This is a book that is both uplifting and heartbreaking, but ultimately a human story. 

No comments:

Post a Comment