Jordan’s mother is causing quite a stir. She is attempting to break a world record that was held by her now deceased father and is determined to win it back. The papers are fascinated, the television crews have turned up and the Great British public has started to take notice. Everyone wants a piece of the woman who is intent on being buried alive in a box for five months and everyone has questions: Why is she doing it? Will she last? What’s it like down there? And, of course, most importantly for Jordan’s classmates, how does she go to the toilet? Jordan doesn’t care about any of this; all he wants is his mum back for Christmas and his life back to normal. The record-breaking attempt has torn the family apart and Jordan misses his older sister who is unhappy with the stunt and has moved in with his equally disapproving grandmother. Jordan is sleeping late, not washing as much as he should, wearing dirty clothes and getting into trouble at school. We follow him through his chaotic and unravelling life as problems mount up for him after he first falls out with his dad and brother and then his best friends.
6 Feet Deep raises pertinent questions about parental responsibility and the quest for fame and celebrity. Impey concentrates on the people who are affected by the headlines and the attention and gossip, but have no control over their manufacture. There is the odd false note: would a teenage boy, restrained from a fistfight, really refer to his enemy as ‘a rotten liar’? Despite this, 6 Feet Deep is a charming, thought-provoking and timely read.