Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. When he and his wife separate, Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. As Ben battles single fatherhood, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of personal identity, family history and misunderstanding are finally untangled.
Jem Lester has been a journalist and an English and Media studies teacher. He has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and lives in London with his partner and her two children.
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Angry and fiercely funny . . . The ending tears the heart out; this is an unforgettable first novel. The Times
This is the literary territory of Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby, infused with the Jewish humour of Howard Jacobson and Shalom Auslander . . . an impressive novel that gives a very accurate portrayal of the struggles some families of autistic children endure, while taking the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride between pathos, comedy and anger. The Guardian
Powerful, unapologetic and deeply moving, Jem Lester mines a hard-hitting story to discover dark humour and surprising warmth. It’s a book that breaks your heart but ultimately uplifts. A simply stunning novel. Miranda Dickinson