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Selected for the Waterstones Eleven list for 2013.

We first meet Michel eleven days after the death of his son Lion. Lion was lost, suddenly, to a virulent strain of meningitis and it’s left his father and entire family reeling. We join Michel on his personal journey through grief, but the twist that makes the journey truly remarkable, and tips this true story into fiction, is the fact that we see it all through Lion’s eyes.

In a stunningly original blurring of memoir and fiction, THE SON tackles the very hardest of subjects in the most readable of ways. Michel Rostain resolutely ducks away from sentimentality and pathos, and tells his story instead with wit, wisdom and vitality. For this is not a book about death; it’s a book about life.


An original slant on the issues of grief and survival. Unusual, painful and intelligent writing
Susan Fletcher
Transmut[es] humour into savage irony and back again...An honourable, humane and touching work
The Sunday Times
Both compelling and jarring...the author treads the line between poignancy and sentimentality, bitterness and joy, memoir and fiction
'Moving...packed with emotion... you will cry, yes, but you will also laugh as this novel reminds us of the overwhelming capacity we have for the most powerful love'
This is one of the most emotionally powerful books I've ever read. The deep sadness is layered with hope; showing how friends and family can help each other through grief. It is a roller-coaster of emotion... Highly recommended