A faded seaside town in autumn is the backdrop for this elegiac story of a vulnerable boy and the adult who befriends him. Eight year old Neville, who counts stars and steps and grains of sand, is the first to notice that the red beach hut is occupied again. Abbott is on the run from his job and his demons after a disturbing cyber attack. Kindred spirits, man and boy collide. Their fleeting friendship, played out on the margins of sea and shore, brings the honesty and compassion both seek. But others watch, judge and misinterpret what they see and Abbot’s past runs at their heels.
An evocative portrayal of two outsiders who find companionship on a lonely beach. Lynn Michell’s subtle and nuanced third novel is about the labels we give people who are different and the harm that ensues.