It's a joy to read this gentle coming of age novel. Evocative childhood memories paint a vivid picturesque Hungary and contrasting familiar Devon home but the growing underlying tension prevents it becoming sentimental.
As we arrived at Lake Balaton I remember squealing .... At fifty miles long and ten across, it was more sea than a lake. A terrific expanse of shining water, bigger than a dream .... There were cafes with sun umbrellas spotted with the logos of exotic soft drinks, shaded terraces with twisted vines and wicker fencing, and newly built pizza parlours with Western-sounding names. Kiosks sold newspapers packed with tiny type, high-bouncing rubber balls and day-glow ice cream, and watermelon vendors drove pickups with their giant green moon fruits piled high in the back.