Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than Water
Anne Cassidy

Barrington Stoke Ltd

ISBN 9781781125113

George dreams of an easy life, a little record business, enough money to get by. But it's hard when he has Lennie to look after too. Lennie's not quite right, he's got a way of getting into scrapes, and he doesn't know his own strength. For now, their best option is to hole up with Billy and his dodgy business and hope they can stay long enough, this time, to get some money put by. But wherever Lennie is, trouble is never very far away...Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

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Thicker Than Water4/5

Thicker Than Water

Anne Cassidy

Review

Lennie is a great big blundering boy in the body of a 22 year old man, his mental health issues causing him to behave without thought for the consequences of his actions. It his loyal and faithful cousin, George, acting on a promise to his dying father, who picks up the pieces and cleans up the mess. But how far will he go to do this? The author captures perfectly the relationship between George and Lennie. George would do anything to keep Lennie from harm, but his increasing frustration and desperation become more difficult to hide. And Lennie won't let anyone hurt George, but doesn't understand that his actions hurt others. After yet another 'incident', they have to move towns again and end up working in a pub. The shady characters for whom they work and Dolly, the pretty young wife of the landlord's vicious son, Boxer, add to the cast and you know something awful is going to happen. A whisper of hope arrives in the shape of Danny, the bar manager who seems to want to help. But this is short lived and soon George is driven to 'protecting' Lennie before anyone else can. If you've read 'Of Mice and Men', you're fairly sure of the ending of Thicker than Water which is based on the classic novella by John Steinbeck. This does not detract from the story which reads like a short, sharp shock. The threat builds slowly but convincingly from page one and doesn't let up until the final page. With a well-written narrative, I felt huge sadness for both characters, as well as great empathy for their situation - no proper help and living in permanent fear for the future. In the same way Steinbeck's classic did, this book will prompt much discussion about right and wrong, and how clear the lines between the two are in this situation. Published by Barrington Stoke, this book is an accessible read which will cause young people to reflect on issues surrounding mental health and employment problems. Thicker Than Water is a timely recreation of a story that shows what happens when people who desperately need help don't get it. 88 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Victoria Dilly, reading consultant.

Reviewed by: Victoria Dilly