The novel essentially plunges you into the mind of a young man, Patrick Oxtoby, who has moved away from home to the seaside, pretty much to start his life afresh. That’s about all I can tell anyone without spoiling the book (and don’t read the back cover copy if you decide to give the book a go).
What I thought was masterful was Hyland’s method of completely absorbing the reader into Patrick’s inner world. There’s no preparation for it, one minute you’re you and the next you’re seeing the world through Patrick’s eyes. For those who have read it, you might be concerned when I say that I sometimes have thoughts like Patrick’s. I reckon many of us have these inner monologues and it helps to put things in perspective.
Patrick may not be the most likeable character, but he is definitely a sympathetic one and I really wanted to find out what happened to him. It’s a real page-turner of a novel and I’m glad I decided to read it after all.