Little Big Man by Katy Regan
Publishing Date: 19th April 2018
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 465
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Meet 10-year-old Zac – a boy on a mission – in Katy Regan’s new novel Little Big Man . . .
You can’t see the truth from the outside, that’s what I’ve worked out.
Ten-year-old Zac has never met his dad, who allegedly did a runner before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his father and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing . . .
Little Big Man is a story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. Most of all though, it’s about a little boy determined to hunt down the truth; a boy who wants to give the Dad he’s never met a second chance to be a father – and his mum a second chance at love.
Zac has never known his father but with his eleventh birthday approaching, he’s decided to look for him – even though his father left his mum even before Zac was born and basically has had no interest in him. Moreover, it is actually forbidden in Zac’s family to as much as mention his father’s name (it is Liam in case you wondered) because of something that happened eleven years ago and included his father and his uncle. Whatever, Zas and his friend Teagan are determined to find Liam. It’s not Zac’s only problem though – to keep his mission a secret, – as he’s also being bullied at school because of his weight, and not only school, but also other authorities, start to write letters to his mum about it.
This was a beautiful and poignant story, brilliantly told from a ten – year – old’s point of view. There were also chapters told by Zac’s mum Juliet and his grandfather Mick, and slowly we start to get a whole picture of what has happened in the past. At the beginning I was wondering, why is Juliet’s father’s point of view so important to this story, and let’s be honest here – the development of his narration and the way his part turned out was beautifully poignant and poignantly beautiful – the way Mick was around Zac and the love he had to his grandson was brilliantly described and so uplifting, it really could make your soul and heart sing. I grew very fond of Mick, guys, and probably this is why this part at the end made me a little disappointed, and personally I didn’t find his involvement, or his addition to this what happened SO dramatic – yes, he lied but first I think through those years, through his love he made amends to all those lies and secrets, and secondly he didn’t know what’s going to happen, he didn’t have any impact on the events to come, and in my eyes he couldn’t have been hold responsible after all those years for this what has happened.
The characters were truly well developed, with their ups and downs and with all their flaws, because they were not perfect, they made a lot of mistakes but it only made them even more multi – dimensional and true to life. The way the author described how they both, Zac and Juliet, find comfort in food was very poignant, dramatic and true to life. Yes, it rang a bell as well. Juliet was doing her best, going through all kind of emotions and feelings as a single parent and I was totally in awe how well Katy Regan has captured Zac’s voice – the way he was behaving, communicating, seeing the world was so age – relevant and very realistic. There were no exaggerations or making Zac too childish or too adult for his age, and hats off, really, because not many authors can capture their child characters so well. He was resilient and determined and protective of his family and best friend, and he was absolutely authentic in everything he did.
Basically, “Little Big Man” was mostly a rather sad story – what with Zac being bullied, his mother being a single parent and fighting to keep her head above water, not being able to afford food and let’s not mention an extra activities for Zac, with the whole family still grieving – but there was also this feeling of unconditional love shining through the pages, that they all could count on each other no matter what. It was a story that’s going to break your heart, mend it and break it again – a story about secrets, shame, guilt, lies and unconditional love, and because of this love we just want to keep those secrets away from those we love most in the world. It touches upon many issues that often we don’t want to think or talk about and the author does it with incredible gentleness, subtlety and understanding. It was emotional and life – affirming and Zac really deserves to be discovered. Highly recommended!
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