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Closed Doors

Closed Doors

Paperback Windmill Books

By (author) Lisa O'Donnell

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  • Publisher: Windmill Books
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 16mm | 188g
  • Publication date: 3 July 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099559161
  • ISBN 13: 9780099559160
  • Sales rank: 314,589

Product description

This is a powerful tale of love, the loss of innocence and the importance of family in difficult times by the acclaimed author of The Death of Bees, winner of the Commonwealth Book Prize 2013. 'There are no strangers in Rothesay, Michael. Everyone knows who you are and always will. It's a blessing but it's also a curse.' Eleven-year-old Michael Murray is the best at two things: keepy-uppies and keeping secrets. His family think he's too young to hear grown-up stuff, but he listens at doors; it's the only way to find out anything. And Michael's heard a secret, one that might explain the bruises on his mother's face. When the whispers at home and on the street become too loud to ignore, Michael begins to wonder if there is an even bigger secret he doesn't know about. Scared of what might happen if anyone finds out, and desperate for life to return to normal, Michael sets out to piece together the truth. But he also has to prepare for the upcoming talent show, keep an eye out for Dirty Alice, his arch-nemesis from down the street, and avoid eating Granny's watery stew. Closed Doors is the startling new novel from the acclaimed author of The Death of Bees. It is a vivid evocation of the fears and freedoms of childhood in the 1980s and a powerful tale of love, the loss of innocence and the importance of family in difficult times.

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Author information

Lisa O'Donnell won the Orange Screenwriting Prize in 2000 for her screenplay The Wedding Gift. Her debut novel, The Death of Bees, was the winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. She currently lives in her hometown on the Isle of Bute.

Review quote

"The dissonance between what a child narrator knows and what adult readers can make out is fully exploited here to great effect, and is reminiscent of Emma Donoghue's Room ... [A] compulsive read, grounded in a realism which, depicted through a child's eyes - with that hint of a child's surreal perception - gathers together violence, humour and love in a most believable way." Scotland on Sunday, Book of the Week "O'Donnell makes you feel the frustration of an intelligent child who knows he's being kept in the dark ... There's loss of innocence here, but the overwhelming tone is warm and sparky; O'Donnell shows how a shattered family can remake itself, and Michael's narrative voice is delightful - observant, thoughtful, comical and thoroughly believable." -- Kate Saunders The Times "Lisa O'Donnell's dazzling new novel ... Like Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, O'Donnell's novel effectively evokes the carefree joys of adolescence as well as all of its terrors, real and imagined ... O'Donnell perfectly navigates the distance between what Michael understands and what her readers do ... O'Donnell's great talent is most apparent in her depiction of the gap between Michael's thoughts and his actions ... a moving story that stakes a lasting, and disturbing, emotional claim on her readers." New York Times Book Review "[A] coming-of-age novel ... Closed Doors provides an engaging child's eye view of a working-class community that is nuanced and insightful." The Herald "A sweet and uplifting read that celebrates the messy, complicated business of family. Michael is a lively and endearing narrator." Daily Mail "This wonderful book explores the loss of innocence through a child's eyes. I loved it." -- Jenny Green The Sun "Impressive ... A hugely accomplished piece of storytelling." -- Doug Johnstone Big Issue