Boy in the World by Niall Williams
This is a beautiful and moving novel about a young boy's journey from childhood to adulthood from best-selling author, Niall Williams. Niall Williams draws us into life in a small village in Ireland where a boy is growing up and making his first tentative steps to becoming a man. Questioning everything in an attempt to make sense of the world he is discovering through books, he is on the cusp of an understanding of what it is to be a man. But, when the Master, his caring old guardian, gives him a letter from his long-dead mother, his world comes crashing down. Learning for the first time that his father is not dead, as he had been led to believe, the boy must relearn everything he thought he knew. He sets out to find his father, piecing together the information he can glean from his mother's letter: he is a journalist for the BBC, he has lived in London, and he is a Muslim. The boy sets out to find his father. Arriving in London, disorientated and alone, he finds himself at the centre of a terrorist attack as the BBC is bombed and hundreds are killed and injured. Taken under the caring wing of Sister Bridget, a nun also caught up in the chaos, he refuses to allow this catastrophe to move him from his goal; he must find his father. This is the heart-warming tale of a young boy trying to find his way in a changing world, a world where no-one is safe and where terrorists seek to destroy all that civilisation holds dear.