The Cuckoo Boy by Grant Gillespie

The Cuckoo Boy

Grant Gillespie

This is a dark tale of family life in the raw, seen mainly through the eyes of James and the parents who care for him. Complex and dysfunctional relationships unravel and the imaginary and the real collide and merge to create a suspenseful story that has sharp edges. With a hint of humour, the emotional expectations of adults and children are revealed. The conflicts that shape human nature and the need to be loved emerge centre stage.

Extract

Sandra could hear his fingers tapping on the radio casing. Irritated she rolled over, put down her book and flicked off the lamp switch like she’d seen people do in films. But her life was no Doris Day movie and when the light went out it was not replaced by a mellow- moon luminosity but rather by a cold, steely blackness and a noise quieter than silence for them both to flounder in. They hid from the knowledge that this child, their son – on whom they’d blindly pinned their hopes, like the tail on the donkey – this real little boy, with his mirror-image imaginary one, was opening up a gulf that a whole team of specialists would struggle to bridge.

Parallels
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The English American by Alison Larkin