I haven’t been able to review this book because of my full reviewing calendar, but I liked the sound of it, so I thought I’d share an extract from the novel with you.
Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.
Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.
The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.
Excerpt 3 – Daryl dealing with taunts from a fellow classmate about his lack of arms
They returned to their stools to write up the experiment, Daryl bent double over his newly written words, we set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram, and when their teacher was temporarily absent from the lab again, Patterson gave Daryl’s stool a kick. “So how do you wipe your bum, Wainwright?” It was Patterson’s turn to raise the laughs, though he wasn’t a natural comedian. “When you’ve done a bomb in the bog, how d’you get all the shit off?”
Daryl reddened. “I press a button and my long arm comes out,” he said, his replies always handy. “Either that or I use my mum’s bidday.”
This quietened Patterson, who’d clearly never heard of a bidday. It was French, see. Not that they’d done it in French yet. They did things like le chat and le chien and le maison, though they had done salle de bain which was French for bathroom, but they’d not done what was inside the bathroom yet. Maybe only the brainy sets like Celia’s got to do what was inside the bathroom.
Patterson’s snotty yellow eyes were boring into Daryl. “I said, what long arm?”
“I left it at home.” Daryl grinned, his teeth now free of the brace that he hadn’t really needed in the first place, but which Vicky Hawthorne’s dad had fitted him with in case of wisdom teeth. “They’re magic, my arms, like a robot. I can do anything with them.”
“Like … well, I could have written on the blackboard all the way from here. Or I could have reached out that window and touched that tree. Not the near one, the one behind. I can extend them as long as I want.”
“Why ain’t you wearing them then, if they’re that good?”
“I keeps ’em for best, don’t I?”
Daryl thought Patterson should be in the thickos set if he believed all that. Yeah, he’d had artificial limbs when he was little but they were rubbish, worse than having no arms at all, they’d weighed him down with all the straps and tubes and the gas cylinder that kept running out. They should have been in this science lab, those arms, then everyone could have gathered round and had a go to see what rubbish they were. Those arms with claws for fingers that couldn’t quite grasp things, like those toy cranes they had at the Mop Fair that you thought were going to pick up bars of chocolate for you. They started to, the chocolate was lifted an inch if you were lucky, but then they nearly always ended up dropping it.
But it’d done the job of shutting Patterson up and Daryl fumbled about in the inside pocket of his blazer for that other arm; his retractable paw claw that retrieved pencils and things from the floor. Then he pinched Patterson’s leg with it.
If you like the sound of that, keep going, there’s a chance to win a signed copy.
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.
However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback
More information can be found at her website:
Or her blog:
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Giveaway – Win 1 x signed copy of Thalidomide Kid
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