My Name Is Leon (Paperback)Kit de Waal (author)
- In stock
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2017
It's 1981, a year of riots and royal weddings. The Dukes of Hazzard is on TV. Curly Wurlys are in the shops. And trying to find a place in it all is nine-year-old Leon. He and his little brother Jake have gone to live with Maureen. They've lost one home, but have they found another? Maureen feeds and looks after them. She has wild red hair and mutters swearwords under her breath when she thinks they can't hear. She claims everything will be okay. But will they ever see their mother again? Who are the couple who secretly visit Jake? Between the street violence and the street parties, Leon must find a way to reunite his family...
'Startlingly funny. Balances the gritty with the feel good.' - The Observer
'Vivid and endearing - a very powerful book.' - Emma Healey, bestselling author of Elizabeth is Missing
'Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel makes room in your heart.' - Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 190 g
Dimensions: 198 x 133 x 18 mm
Tender and heart-breaking -- Rachel Joyce, bestselling author of 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'
A beautiful story told with compassion, urgency and wit -- Stephen Kelman, author of the Booker-shortlisted 'Pigeon English'
Vivid and endearing - a very powerful book -- Emma Healey, bestselling author of 'Elizabeth is Missing'
Leon is pure goodwill in a wicked world, and he won't leave you when you put this unique book down. Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel does what only the best do: it quietly makes room in your heart. At the end of the story I couldn't bear to close the book on Leon. I felt I was abandoning him. I wanted to talk about it straight away with someone else who'd read it, and I know a great many readers will feel the same. -- Chris Cleave, bestselling author of 'The Other Hand'
Beautiful and heartbreaking - I cried buckets of tears for Leon and his family -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of 'The Last Act of Love'
A compelling story... Kit de Waal is to be congratulated -- Jane Shemilt, bestselling author of 'Daughter'
Hotly anticipated and heartbreaking... a great read...it's no mean feat for a debut to so perfectly capture the world through the eyes of a child...his illuminating child's eye view of adult affairs harks back to the likes of Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer and more recently Mark Haddon's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime -- Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4
The unforgettable story of a boy struggling to belong, and the author captures both his mindset and the period impeccably. Heartbreaking and uplifting - just read it * Daily Mail *
My debut of the year so far...heartbreaking and warm at the same time * Stylist *
A funny, sad and endearing debut * Psychologies *
Searing * The Times *
Everything in My Name Is Leon rings true. It's an everyday story and this actually makes it more powerful: these are the lows and joys of real life. Someone will be living them as you read * Emerald Street *
A touching, thought-provoking debut * Guardian *
Powerful and gorgeously written...may make you cry, but it's also uplifting and full of hope * Good Housekeeping *
Heart-breaking yet told with wit and compassion - I loved it * Woman and Home *
Full of small exquisite details, de Waal's novel is ultimately affirmative. But be warned - it's a bit of a weepie * Metro *
Deeply moving, compulsively readable and, despite the heart-rending subject matter, often funny * Irish Times *
The voice of Leon is distinctive, beguiling and ultimately compelling, resonant of the young narrators in Room or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time * RTE Guide *
Searing * T2 *
Beguiling, tender, funny, compassionate ... entirely heartbreaking without being bleak * Sunday Express *
Conjures the plight of children in care - and the Britain of the 1980s - with heartbreaking intensity * Harpers Bazaar *
It's a wonderful book. I really enjoyed it. It is extremely affecting -- Toby Lichtig
I think My Name is Leon is a really stand out novel -- Alex Clark
Simply told and never over-written * Emerald Street Top 10 Books of the Year *
A piercing story: fierce, touching and with the absolute ring of truth-to-experience -- Sam Leith
Many are describing it as the debut of the year, in an already crowded market * Evening Standard *
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“Poignant and Insightful”
My Name is Leon is a brilliant debut from Kit De Waal that masterfully crafts the naïve yet nuanced internalisations of a young boy, whilst illustrating the complex backdrop of 1980s Britain.
To write from the... More
“Heartbreaking but lovely ”
If I could do half ratings, this would be more of a 3.5 than a solid 4. I did have a good old cry in the early stages of the book, Leon's situation was absolutely terrible and it felt so much harder knowing that... More
“A lion-hearted book”
The central character in Kit de Waal's My Name is Leon is a child who finds himself in the care system in the early 1980s. His mother seems to suffer from serious post-natal mental health problems after his... More
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