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Simon is a grown-up.
He has responsibilities for the dependents in his life, such as a 55-stone boar called The General and Buster the Billy-goat. But while caring so well for the animals on his farm, he begins to reflect on the distinct lack of care in his own childhood.
Both funny and heartbreaking, Simon tells of a latch-key childhood that involved physical and emotional damage, losing his virginity to a much older woman, failing spectacularly at school and burning his house down, while his mother entertained her violent boyfriend and looked for someone she could give Simon away to.
In his new book, Simon decides not just to face up to the emotional damage his mother inflicted on him, but to try to understand her and achieve some kind of reconciliation before she dies. Was it his innate unloveableness, or was it something that would now be called postnatal depression?
Warm, witty and honest, the book charts the humour, the anger, the confusion, the hurt, the hate and the desperation of a mother who can't give love and a son longing for it.