The three of them—a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father—have won the war: the father’s term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps—the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters—become sinister, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then violent.
Set in the sublimely stark landscape of suburban New Mexico and a cramped apartment shut tight to the world, One of the Boys conveys with stunning prose and chilling clarity a young boy’s struggle to hold onto the dangerous pieces of his shattered family. – Goodreads.com
I received this book free from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Oh, man. If you pick up this book, be ready to have your heart torn apart and reassembled. Be ready to have your morals and ideas bend in ways you didn’t know they could. Be ready to accept that this kind of shit happens every day, sometimes to the people you know and love.
If you have ever been in or close to any kind of abusive relationship, or dealt with someone suffering from addiction then you will whole-heatedly relate to the pain, terror and frustration that comes along with this story. It is no easy read, it it is fulfilling and comforting.
When there is trauma and abuse between parents, the children can often become collateral damage and this is exactly what we see in this incredible debut.
I think this one will stick with me for a long time.