When Simon Carr's wife, Susie, tragically loses her battle with cancer, Simon is left to raise his five-year-old son, Alexander, on his own.
Soon after, his eleven-year-old son from a previous marriage, Hugo, comes to live with them too.
All too quickly, plumped-up cushions, crisp beds and a drifting scent of rosemary from the kitchen are replaced with a floor piled high with video-games, Lego(R) and comics.
While visiting mothers deem his parenting 'semi-feral', Simon dryly retorts that his methods are simply 'free-range'.In this new all-male partnership, Simon faces the challenges of parenthood unaided, as father and sons alike learn to become a family again.
Carr's emotionally honest, compellingly anarchic and sharply comic story of a single parent's struggle is at once heartbreaking and wonderfully life-affirming.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 07/01/2010
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780099547389
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Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
Absolutely delightful. Being a rabid DVD collector over a cinema goer, when I saw the film advertised, my first reaction was to check for a release date on Amazon. The DVD was trumped, however, upon discovery of the book! Simon Carr tells, in all honesty, emotion and dry wit, of the death of his second wife Susie from cancer, leaving him as an ex-pat in New Zealand with two sons to raise (his son from his first marriage comes to live with him too). I laughed more than I snivelled at the Carr method of 'free-range' parenting ('after benign neglect, money is the next most underestimated therapy'), which sounds delightful on paper, but could very likely backfire in practice! The personal details are necessarily sad, but the struggles of a father to both control and bond with his young children are probably universal, as are Simon's musings on childhood in general.I will probably still rent or buy the DVD, but I dread to think how saccharine this story will become on film! (Clive Owen is a very attractive dad, though!)