A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson is a truly special book which managed to make me both laugh and cry. It tells the story of a boy called Dan whose Dad ran off with the woman from the chip shop ‘Busty Babs’ four years ago and he hasn’t been in contact with him since.
Dan has a very vivid imagination and the book opens with a list of things he wants to come true.
‘I want my sister, Ninja Grace to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year.’
‘I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a Zombie mystery, all the more exciting.’
‘And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my Dad to love me.’
In the book we see Dan on a mission to get his Dad back in his life after he suddenly appears on his TV screen much to the annoyance of his permanently grumpy sister Grace. He hopes that some how if he manages to get his Dad’s attention he will realise how much he has missed out on by walking out on his family.
There are some fantastic characters in the shape of Dan’s friends and families who help make this story so vibrant and real. His friend Jo is forever trying to use her holy relics to help him and his Tae kwon do loving friend Christopher highlight Dan’s quirky but loyal personality. Throughout the book Dan stays determined and hopeful of a reunion with his father whatever the cost.
I love that while this poignant search is unfolding there are hilarious misunderstandings going on elsewhere in the story. We have lots of confusion by Dan and Grace in relation to their Mum’s new boyfriend Big Dad involving pink dressing gowns, fires and a tattoo which causes further complications. I was constantly laughing at the mischief Dan gets himself into and he is so endearing you hold out hope that he will manage to achieve his ultimate dream.
Without issuing any spoilers all I will say is that the ending is sad but uplifting and beautifully written by Lara. You feel so emotionally attached to Dan and his family that it’s hard to say goodbye but you feel that you’re leaving them in a more hopeful place.
You can find out more about the world of Dan Hope and get access to sneak peeks, downloads and competitions by visiting:
Lara Williamson has a new novel ‘The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean on an Armchair’ is released in October this year and I will definitely be adding to my to read pile.