When he was five, Neil's mother walked out of the family home. Two years later she returned with a new man; Derek Cross. His new stepfather prided himself on being an exemplary parent, kind, patient, never too tired to read him stories. Neil loved him. Yet underneath lurked another Derek Cross - a monster: conman, adulterer, liar, racist and a cold-hearted manipulator.
This is a story about being raised a racist and an outsider - and overcoming it; about family and step-family; about class and religion; and about how resentment breeds violence. And it's about what, in the end, the love of books can do for you.
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