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422 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2008
In the old place the river was not far from our street. There was a park and all different things in between. The park had a great pond with paddleboats and people sailed model yachts. Ye caught fish in it too. Ye caught them with poles that had wee nets tied at the end. But most people did not have these. Ye just caught them with yer hands. Ye laid down on yer front close into the edge on the ground. Here it sloped sharp into the water, so ye did not go too close. Just yer shoulders reached that bit where the slope started. Ye rolled up yer sleeves and put yer hands together and let them go down it. Just slow, then touching the water and yer hands going in. If ye went too fast, ye went right in up yer arms over yer shoulders. Ye only went a wee bit, a wee bit, a wee bit till yer hands were down as far.I was captivated from this beginning. The prose lets you hear the Scot accent without so much written dialect to interfere with understanding. And then, of course, there is this boy, this wonderful little boy, this wee boy. I did not know my husband as a boy, but this lying on "yer front close to the edge" is who he was. I read this passage to him and he said "of course." He was a tree climber too, just like Kieron. I had daughters, thankfully, because I always said I wouldn't know what to do with boys - certainly not one like Kieron.