What I Learned - The God of All Small Boys by Joseph Lamb
I had heard a lot of great chatter about this book and was lucky enough to meet the lovely author when he interviewed Ross Sayers earlier this year. Shortly after this book arrived in the post and it absolutely did not disappoint. I read it in a day...
What I Learned:
Bullies are always looking for a reaction - tough to remember in the moment but, let's face it, mum's always know best.
I love this simple and beautiful sentiment. Perhaps the most important thing we can ask of our kids. So lovely.
Given my predilection for crazy and insane adventures (often climbing in windows of abandoned buildings when no one knows where I am) I am secretly hoping there is also a God of All 30-Something Impulsive Women too! Is that wrong? It's probably time to grow up really. I love this passage so much- for me it sums up life's simple pleasures that all to often go unnoticed by anyone but the untainted youth. How much more pleasure would us grown ups take from life if we started noticing how much these simple things can make us smile?
This paragraph literally gave me chills. This is the strongest of bonds, the ultimate commitment and, ultimately, the family we choose for ourselves. I believe it is referred to in modern day terms #MyTribe (or so I am told!). Arguably the most important and influential people in our lives.
...what he said!
This stopped me in my tracks. I am in my thirties and we were taught all about the World Wars and what happened and the impact on the lives of those left behind, but for me this simply observed passage really makes the reality resonate. So many lives changed in an instant. A lost generation of young men and a generation of kids with their male role models effectively wiped out and left to pick up the pieces. Imagine the way these women and children's and parent's hearts dropped every time they heard a knock on the door or saw a motor bike heading down their street. All their hopes and dreams for the future wiped out in a few words. It's unfathomable really.
I love this imagery. I live in Clackmannanshire, in the Hillfoots to be more specific and our villages histories were defined my the mills in the not to distant past either...there were working mills here in my lifetime.
Has ever a more Scottish term of positivity been uttered? This has officially been added to my daily vocabulary!
...a timely reminder that we shouldn't wait for the worlds tragedies to be reminded to hug and be grateful for the people we love and are blessed to have in our lives. Make it a point to tell them every single day just how much they mean to us because the reality is that none of us ever really know when that poignant "last time" will be.
This is what war boils down to at the end. Regardless of the rights and wrongs on either side of the battles it is just such an unimaginable waste of life. My heart hurts just thinking about it.
A father speaking to his son about the loss of a mother. Incredibly poignant and eloquent and, well, just beautiful observed really. Brings a lump to my throat every time I read it.
There were another few quotes I saved but they contained spoilers so I haven't included them here but I urge you to go out and read this book for yourself.
My Goodreads Review:
The God of All Small Boys by Joseph Lamb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A beautiful, heart-warming, unexpected and devastating read that captures both a simpler and somehow more complicated time magically. An unforgettable story that reminded me in places of the broken childhood innocence of Goodnight Mr Tom & the camaraderie of The Dead Poets Society. Quiet with a gently unassuming and effortless nostalgia this entire story will stay with you forever. The realities of living with war were captured exquisitely - how a visit from a green motorcycle and a piece of paper could turn your reality upside-down in an instant and cause such heartbreak. The last chapter on loss is one of the most incredible and haunting thing I have ever read.
Every person, young and old, should read this incredible story.
Find the lovely Joseph Lamb online at:
My copy of The God of All Small Boys came from the Pokey Hat imprint of the brilliant Cranachan Publishing. Check them out online at:
Thank you so much for checking out this review - if you enjoyed it please have a look at my complete list of What I Learned reviews.