This is the story of a twelve year old boy warped by casual abuse from his uncaring mother, bullied at school and seemingly without hope for the future although he does have his dreams of a better life. Much of the story describes the boy’s early trials and tribulations, sometimes with a touch of humour as for instance when he meets and forms a fleeting relationship with a young French girl he meets in the park or later when at the age of thirteen he is gently seduced into sex by a middle-aged woman. Gradual salvation for Johnnie Sampson comes though his teacher Samantha who ends up fostering the boy despite her own traumatic experiences with a husband who turns out to have an unhealthy interest in children. She has her own salvation through finding a new partner and becoming pregnant by him.Several characters also play their parts in the story including Johnnie’s long departed father who clumsily tries to regain custody of his son, Sam’s friends and relations, in particular her grandmother Nora who is a character in her own right. The story is an odyssey of an abused child through the storms of the social services to the eventually tranquil waters of someone who cares for humanity in general, and Johnnie in particular.
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