Special needs teacher Eileen must tutor one last pupil before retiring to her native Ireland, Molly, a teenager who refuses to attend school.
As a bond forms between them, both unravel a common thread stitched throughout their lives: a loveless mother. The books that Eileen gives Molly enable her to reflect upon the condition of her dysfunctional parents, whose demons explain her broken home.
Understanding empowers Molly to overcome her limitations, and Eileen to learn something from her student—forgiveness.
Reading Age: Young Adult
Age Range: YA
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Word Count: 57,100
Published: August 2022
RRP: UK £8.99
They knew what Molly was. The worthless child of worthless people, a dog’s dinner who wore no knickers with piss for perfume.
I’m Molly Path and I’m an empty space in a car park. Can’t do nothing. Stella says so, and she knows all about being useless. I live in a house with a broken TV. I live in a house with a broken boiler. I live in a house that reeks of brandy. I live in a house with Stella but not with Stan.
Stella is in the kitchen sucking juice from an orange, although in this case it is a cigarette. Nonetheless, she draws on it with a slurp, then gulps the breath down into her lungs forcibly like a reluctant hostage. On a good day she can finish almost an entire fag with one, long, unbroken inhalation.
Stan drifted through days like pollen, travelling in every sense. Nothing remained the same across the hours, his eyes fed without the morsels of landmarks, faces always fleeting blurs lacking features. The only ground he stood on was himself and it was not rock but shifting sand. Stan flowed.entire fag with one, long, unbroken inhalation.
Gavin Eugene O’Toole is a freelance journalist, editor and writer. He is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week short story and humorous essay competitions, and the Ovacome competition, and has been runner-up, shortlisted or commended in several other competitions. He is married with three daughters and lives in London.