Mother’s Boy by Patrick Gale

I have always wanted to read a book by Patrick Gale, but I have been a little intimidated by his books, and to be honest that is simply because I may have judged them by their cover.

However, the fantastic ‘The Book Taster’ picked ‘Mother’s Boy’ for the February book club pick and I was really excited to have the chance to read a novel by Patrick Gale. And, spoiler alert, I absolutely loved it and will definitely be reading more of his books when I have the chance.

‘Mother’s Boy’ is a beautiful piece of historical fiction about the writer and poet Charles Causley, who grew up in Cornwall in the early twentieth century with his mother Laura (after sadly losing his father Charlie at a young age). Patrick Gale has focused on Charles and Laura Causley’s life until just after the Second World War, and I found it fascinating, of course keeping in mind that it is a fictionalised version of events but, clearly, well researched. Although Gale admits that he has to fill some gaps with the evidence he could find, I feel he has done this carefully and with respect. Nothing appears to have been written to sensationalise, shock or show any kind of disrespect to the Causleys.

I just could not put this book down, as it is so beautifully written and I just wanted to see how the characters would develop, and how their experiences were shaping them and their views of life. The relationship between mother and son was fascinating and though, at times, it clearly had its odd strains, it appears it was always loving and caring.

And, like all good books, this has sparked an interest in me for the works of Charles Causley, although he is mainly a poet, which is not always my go-to genre, I am intrigued to read what he has written and find out even more about this man. His life was not easy in those early years, and being drawn into World War Two as a member of the Royal Navy would have left quite an impression on him, and maybe offered him a connection to his father Charlie, who had experienced World War One.

Patrick Gale’s talent as a storyteller is obvious from the very beginning of this book, and his ability to really bring characters and places to life for his readers is something quite magical. And I am really looking forward to reading more of his books and discovering more of his stories.

So, again, thank you to ‘The Book Taster’ for bringing another author into my life that has brought me so much joy.

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