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Fierce People

by Dirk Wittenborn

When 15-year-old Finn narrowly escapes prosecution after buying cocaine for his mother, Liz, she decides it's time to begin a new life. Through her contacts as a masseuse they enter the strange world of the super-rich. This book is funny and yet also very moving. Finn is a typical teenager and we love him for all his mistakes and insecurities. An unusual and utterly compelling read.

Extract

For the last two years my mother had been making it as a masseuse. I was embarrassed to walk with her when she pushed her big black folding massage table on rollers around the city. Her clients said she had healing hands. Who knows? I stopped letting her give me foot rubs when she turned pro. The therapist told her it was a healthy way for an adolescent boy to establish boundaries ....

I don't want to give the wrong impression. It wasn't like my mother had a new guy over every other night. Actually, it had been almost two months - a relatively long season without rain for her. And she never dated anybody she massaged professionally. Except for the Scientologist; even she admitted he was a mistake.

I wasn't crazy about hearing some English guy asking my mother in the first light of day, 'Hey, luv, got any vaseline about for Mr Johnson?' But everybody who was my age and lived in a loft in the late seventies knew their mum did it. (They were doing it again now.) Especially if they didn't have dads.

Parallels

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
 

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