I was drawn into the story right from the start. Although it didn't follow on as I expected, becoming more of a gentle journey from boyhood to manhood than anything else, there were enough odd little touches and twists in the tale to keep me interested. It is set in Ireland, but could really be anywhere; the sense of loneliness and isolation is much more relevant than where the action takes place.
I spent ten days in Furnace at the end of the year, the first time I had been home since coming to the city. If I had been expecting the old man to place his arm around my shoulder and welcome me back I had another thing coming. Although softened considerably since I had last seen him, he had still not completely shrugged off his mood of betrayal.