Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown


Isabel Ashdown

This is family life stripped back and exposed. At times emotional, at times nostalgic, funny and always engaging. Told through two stories. That of Jake aged 13 in 1984 and his mother's life up to 1984. Jake's adolescence is the perfect backdrop for a portrait of a family troubled by the secrets of the past.


I love November. I love the frosty grass that pokes up between the paving slabs, and the smoke that puffs out of your nostrils like dragon's breath. I love the ready-made ice rink that freezes underneath the broken guttering in the school playground. And I love the salt 'n' vinegar heat inside a noisy pub, when everyone outside is walking about under hats and gloves with dripping red noses.
This one Saturday afternoon, Dad and me are down the Royal Oak, getting ready to watch the match. Dad tells Eric the Landlord that I'm fourteen, so I can come into the bar so long as I only have Coke. Not that I'd want what they all drink.

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