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Going Home: One of the Observer's Debut Novels of 2024

Tom Lamont

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London, Greater London, c 2010 to c 2020, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

From award-winning journalist Tom Lamont comes a funny, achingly sad, sneakily wise story of family and what happens when three men - all of whom are completely ill-suited for fatherhood - take charge of a toddler following his mother's sudden death

For fans of Sarah Winman, Andrew O'Hagan's Mayflies and films like Boyhood and Aftersun.

'A spirit-lifting debut'

'I will never forget these characters: so pained and funny, so brilliantly drawn, wrestled with and forgiven'

'Meltingly warm'

Local boy Teo Erskine is back in the north London suburb of his youth, visiting his father - stubborn, selfish, complicated Vic. Things have changed for Teo: he's got a steady job, a brand-new car and a London flat all concrete and glass, with a sliver of a river view.

Except, underneath the surface, not much has changed at all. He's still the boy seeking his father's approval; the young man playing late-night poker with his best friend, unreliable, infuriating Ben Mossam; the one still desperately in love with the enigmatic Lia Woods.

Lia's life, on the other hand, has been transformed: now a single mum to two-year-old Joel, she doesn't have time for anyone - not even herself.

When the unthinkable happens, Joel finds himself at the centre of an odd constellation of men - Teo, Vic, Ben - none of whom is fully equipped to look after him, but whose strange, tentative attempts at love might just be enough to offer him a new place to call home.

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