Small Hours by Bobby Palmer

I was lucky enough to hear Bobby Palmer speak at last year’s The Book Taster Live (after having read ‘Isaac and the Egg’), so I have been really looking forward to reading ‘Small Hours’, as I was sure it was going to be another good read…and it was.

‘Small Hours’ is the story of a father and son, and their rather dysfunctional relationship. Jack returns home after a call stating that his mother seems to have disappeared, but his father Gerry does not seem to be worried. However, Gerry seems even more distant than he has ever been before, being more of a fan of animals, and something is not quite right. Yet, Jack has saved a Fox who now seems keen to try and save Jack’s relationship with his father.

This is a beautiful book, which I could not put down. It explores a father and son relationship, the importance of communication to allow for understanding and how a little bit of faith can get you a long way. We visit the past and the present in this book to allow us to understand why the relationship may be as it is, and could all of this be a little bit of a misunderstanding between the two of how the past has led to this present – did they both need to take some time to understand each other?

I am finding it quite hard to write about this book, as I think it is a story that is going to have to be read to be fully appreciated. However, I loved the fox as it reminded me of the fox in ‘The Little Prince’: there to provide some guidance to someone who may be a little lost. And we all need a little guidance sometimes, and sometimes it comes from the most surprising place.

I think it is safe to say that Bobby Palmer has achieved that second novel – this is an excellent book to follow his debut novel of ‘Isaac and the Egg’. A beautifully constructed story, full of emotion, humour and charm that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

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