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Kids' Stuff

by Henry Sutton

This is a dark and bitter exploration of what happens when family relationships fall apart. I found it a disturbing read, partly because of the subject matter, but also because it is such a convincing insight into the mind of an inarticulate and violent young man. I found myself sympathising with his situation, and accepting his excuses for what is actually inexcusable behaviour. The climax certainly shocked me out of my complicity.

Extract

If he is to be completely honest with himself, if for once he doesn’t let pride get in the way, the fact he’s not as tough as he’d like to think, he can only draw the conclusion that he never hit Kim anything like as hard as she hit him either. When he did nudge and poke her, and maybe kick out at her shins, at her arse if he could reach – after, of course, she had driven him to despair, and words had failed him – she certainly clobbered him back. And how.

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