Boy A.

AuthorDiehn, Andi
PositionBook review

Work Title: Boy A

Work Author(s): Jonathan Trigell

Serpent's Tail

248 pages, Softcover $14.95


ISBN: 9781846686627

Reviewer: Andi Diehn

For some men, the path from boyhood to adulthood is only as difficult as learning how to shave. For the protagonist of Jonathan Trigell's novel, Boy A, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Waverton Award, the journey is more complicated. Boy A's fatal mistake as a child has repercussions far into his future, and no matter how much he grows into a contributing member of society, his past will always be an inescapable part of himself.

After allegedly helping a friend murder a classmate, Boy A is found guilty and imprisoned for a dozen years, half his life. When he is finally released at age twenty-four, sparking public outrage, a new kind of trial begins as he tries to find his place in the free world. Armed with a new name, a new history, a job, a flat, and even friends, he tries to start over with the help of Terry, his advocate and the only person who knows his real past and still is willing to help.

His new life is far from easy. Ever aware that freedom could be revoked for any misstep, he is extremely anxious about behaving well and blending in. Even a heroic act brings more fear of exposure than feelings of pride.

The structure of Boy A makes this novel welcoming...

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