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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'
DAVID MITCHELL

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

'Meltingly warm'
OBSERVER

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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