It gives me great pleasure to welcome Katy Regan to TWG today as I review her latest novel, ‘Little Big Man’ as part of the blog tour. Big thanks to Katie James for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Here is my review:
Meet 10-year-old Zac – a boy on a mission – in Katy Regan’s new novel Little Big Man . . .
You can’t see the truth from the outside, that’s what I’ve worked out.
Ten-year-old Zac has never met his dad, who allegedly did a runner before he was born. But when his mum lets slip that he’s the only man she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective and, roping in his best friend, hatches a plan to find his father and give his mum the happy-ever-after she deserves. What he doesn’t realize, though, is that sometimes people have good reasons for disappearing . . .
Little Big Man is a story about family secrets and fierce, familial love. It’s about growing up and being accepted; grief and lies, and the damage they can do. Most of all though, it’s about a little boy determined to hunt down the truth; a boy who wants to give the Dad he’s never met a second chance to be a father – and his mum a second chance at love.
What does TWG think?
This review is going to be a personal one and, whilst I would usually apologise for that, this time I won’t because it relates so much to the story.
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if people told the truth?
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if, growing up in a single parent family, you instead grew up in a two parent family?
I have. All Zac has ever known is life with his mum, Grandad and Grandma. With his uncle and dad no longer on the scene, Zac can’t really miss what he hasn’t had. Or can he? With Zac at the age where inquisitiveness takes over from logic, all that little boy wants to do is make his mum happy again by trying to reunite his mum with a dad he’s been told that he has never met. What actually happened all those years ago? Where did Zac’s dad go and why will no-one tell him the truth?
I was three years old when my mum walked away from my dad, taking my brother and I with her, growing up with family members who refused to talk about my father and allowing me to believe that I was better off without him. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t – I wish I was given the chance to make that decision for myself instead of being fed pieces of information which later turned out to be a bunch of codswallop. I never got to find that out as, due to the lies I was told, I ended up hating my father and the time we spent together over the years was few and far between, with the last ever time I saw him being 2006 when I was 16. I couldn’t tell my family that I wanted to get to know my dad and spend time with him, because every time I did, hatred flew out of their mouths and I only had one side of the story. Unfortunately, I will spend the rest of my life wondering about the truth, wondering if my dad and I would ever have that ‘father daughter relationship’ I see so many others having, as 2 years ago my dad killed himself.
I related to Zac emotionally, keeping everything crossed that he will get the ending in life he so badly craves. I could see that his mum was doing the best that she could, but my heart broke into a thousand pieces when it came to light that Zac was suffering at the hands of some vile people. All I wanted to do was hold Zac and keep him safe from all the harm in his life, he deserved that. He deserved to be happy, but most importantly, he deserved the truth. Did his family really think so little of him if they weren’t prepared to tell him the truth?
Every family has secrets. Every family tells lies. Every family attempts to keep their loved ones safe from harm, even if it means doing the wrong thing. For a ten year old boy, Zac has such a wise head on young shoulders, taking the cards he had been dealt into his own hands to try to find out what happened, even if it meant upsetting the people who had been there for him his entire life.
‘Little Big Man’ is a gem just waiting to be discovered. A Pandora’s box of guilt, shame, secrets and lies, wrapped up in love, second chances, truths and strength. This is a book which just kept on giving, breaking my heart one moment, whilst sticking it back together with love the next. A story which brought my own hardship to light, yet allowing me to resonate with the main character on such a deep and memorable level. A story which highlighted the emotional sides to families and friendships, yet brought home the true values of those as well.
‘Little Big Man’ is a beautifully written, enchanting, and touching novel which seems to have found a permanent place in my heart. Katy Regan is an author with such majestic, literary skills that made me feel as though I was soaring through the sky on a cloud of hope. I am actually crying writing this review as it really has touched me very deeply. Whilst I can wish that no-one else will go through what Zac went through, I know deep down that he won’t be the first, nor will he be the last, yet his story will be imprinted in my mind, and my heart, for eternity.
This is a book that needs as much love given to it as it gives out to its readers. Love it, embrace it, cherish it and hold ‘Little Big Man’ close to your heart for it deserves it. It deserves it a lot.