Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.
Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.
The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.
I was torn when I was first offered a copy of this book – the blurb looked good but I was a little put off by the title. I am glad I decided to go with the blurb though as I did enjoy it.
This is a great tale about kids growing up and maturing. I especially enjoyed the viewpoint of Daryl who is disabled. He was a fantastic main character – humorous, sarcastic and self-deprecating. Very much how I have always tried to be about my disability – I never liked taking myself too seriously and still don’t really! He has given himself the name ‘Thalidomide Kid’, much as I (although my year four teacher Mr Mottram also had a part in it) named my arthritis Arthur when I was younger. Arthur was, and still is a pain and has now been joined by Stanley the stoma who can also be a pain when he wants to be!
Celia was also a great character and I liked the fact that the book covered this whole period of time in their lives – the changes, challenges and feelings that come with growing into adulthood for both everyone, and the extra ones people with disabilities may face. I enjoyed seeing how these two handled those situations!
This was a pretty quick read and I would recommend to others to give it a try. It is nice to see a book containing a disabled character without the ‘woe is me’ attitude than many assume we have.
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.
However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback
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