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Summary

From the best-selling author of A Place Called Winter comes Mother's Boy, a superb historical novel of Cornwall, class, desire and two world wars.

Laura, an impoverished Cornish girl, meets her husband when they are both in service in Teignmouth in 1916. They have a baby, Charles, but Laura's husband returns home from the trenches a damaged man, already ill with the tuberculosis that will soon leave her a widow. In a small, class-obsessed town she raises her boy alone, working as a laundress and gradually becomes aware that he is some kind of genius.

As an intensely private young man, Charles signs up for the navy with the new rank of coder. His escape from the tight, gossipy confines of Launceston to the colour and violence of war sees him blossom as he experiences not only the possibility of death, but the constant danger of a love that is as clandestine as his work.

Mother's Boy is the story of a man who is among yet apart from his fellows, in thrall to yet at a distance from his own mother; a man being shaped for a long, remarkable and revered life spent hiding in plain sight. But it is equally the story of the dauntless mother who will continue to shield him long after the dangers of war are past.

©2022 Patrick Gale (P)2022 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"One of the joys of Gale's writing is how even the smallest of characters can appear fully formed, due to a charming wickedness alongside deeper observations." (Irish Times)

"A writer with heart, soul and a dark and naughty wit, one whose company you relish and trust." (Observer)

What listeners say about Mother's Boy

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Id give it 10 stars if possible

wasn't too keen to start with, bit as the novel progressed, I grew to love the characters more and .ore. this is one of those books you wish would never end. its like all your friends dying at once. I know Launceston well, it's always been a town of real people to me and this novel captures the spirit of the town. I now intend to read the poems of Charles Causlley,.
Well dome Patrick Gale for yet another amazing book. if ever I went on mastermind my main subject would be your novels

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I will have to listen to it all again

Wonderful word pictures of the life of the Causley family over fifty turbulent years. Beautifully read by the author himself. I wept at several points and wished it did not have to end.

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Mothers Boy

Loved the novel. I did not want it to end & was bereft when it did. The narration by the author was perfect. One of those books that stay in your mind for a long time afterwards and ha left me wondering what to listen to next !! The characters were so real and I totally immersed myself in their lives.

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A tale of its time

The telling of the story drew me in more and more as it progressed. fascinating.

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Janner

Loved this as I love as always a Charles causley fan. My father was was in the merchant navy during the war and my mother was a WRN. At first I thought wasn’t sure about Patrick’s narration but it grew on me. So restful to run and walk to. Definitely recommend

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Brilliant

loved this book. lots of surprising twists and turns all the way through. Felt like I had lost some friends when finished.

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A wonderful story

I found Patrick Gale's most moving. Patrick's narration is sublime. The story has depth of emotion in its subtlety. A great retelling of a life.

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  • Kurt Cyr
  • 12-03-22

Patrick Gale at his best!

As an avid reader of Gales since Aerodynamics of Pork, I look forward to his new writing with mounting anticipation. And to his credit, he does not disappoint. Weaving, acerbic wit and Cornish charm, his writing is thought provoking and oddly comforting.