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This powerful novel begins dramatically with Georgie, unable to communicate in words, smearing the lavatory walls with his own shit. Told alternately in the first person by Georgie and Shannon, both boarders in some kind of therapeutic community, it tracks newcomer Georgie's slow emergence over six months from the silence in which he has been keeping himself safe.
In his new bedroom Georgie has a mirror where the other Georgie peers out at him - this is the Georgie he has to leave behind if he is to begin to negotiate with the world again. Yet it is also the Georgie he needs to accept within himself. Towards the end of the book we discover why Georgie is so traumatised and begin to understand the logical way in which he interprets his insecure and terrifying world. Doyle's subtle and perceptive portrait of Georgie's persecutory inner world is told in a daringly understated way that demands much of the young reader.