When I’m older, she thought, I’ll remember this midnight picnic as a good thing. I’ll forget that I was scared of the dark, and that Dad was strange. I’ll remember the candles in the grass, like flowers made out of flame, and Tug dreaming of pie, and Dad telling me he loves me.
Eleven-year-old Martha is used to being the one who has to keep their head.
Tug, her little brother, is too small. Dad is too strange. And Mum’s not here any more.
So when Dad falls off the roof, it’s Martha who ices his knee and takes him to the doctor. And when Dad doesn’t come home, it’s Martha who cooks Tug’s favourite pie and reads him his bedtime story. And when Dad passes out, it’s Martha who cleans him up and keeps his secret.
But eventually Dad’s problems become too big for even Martha to solve. There is only one person who can sort things out now. Dad.
Shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2011, this is a funny, sad, bittersweet novel about a girl, her little brother and their alcoholic father. A story about family, love, and pies.
“a spiked children’s classic, and an utter delight…a beautifully written, exquisitely touching but gently humorous novel” – Sunday Telegraph
“Mason doesn’t flinch from great sadness in a delicately told, warm-hearted story with a triumphant ending” – Guardian
“an absolute delight” – Daily Telegraph
“an outstanding novel…this is a book that addresses painful events with a wonderfully ebullient comic touch” – The Times