My Name Is Leon

My Name Is Leon

4.02 (3,477 ratings by Goodreads)
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**A TIMES and INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER****WINNER OF THE IRISH NOVEL PRIZE****SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2016**** SHORTLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE**** LONGLISTED FOR THE GLASS BELL AWARD **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' 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 Handshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 133 x 198 x 18mm | 190g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241973384
  • 9780241973387
  • 32,714

Review quote

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one * Publisher's description * 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'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 *show more

About Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader's Choice Prize 2014. My Name is Leon is her first novel. She has two more

Review Text

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one Publisher's descriptionshow more

Rating details

3,477 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 32% (1,113)
4 44% (1,527)
3 20% (694)
2 3% (113)
1 1% (30)
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