ABOUT THE BOOK
The Past Never Dies
When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt. Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing. He is to blame.
Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime. And crime pays.
Or so he thinks.
A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face…
And then things get a whole lot worse.
I had the pleasure of reading Backstories by this author, which was highly entertaining, and I jumped at the chance to read his second book, The Silent Brother. The stories couldn’t have been more different. The Silent Brother is raw and heart-breaking as the two young boys are abused by the people that should be protecting them.
When social services take one of the boys away, it leaves the older of the two feeling guilty that he couldn’t stand up for his brother. As the years’ pass, Tommy has had to learn how to survive, even if that means being part of the wrong crowd. He meets Annie, and she becomes his mission to be saved.
The past is going to collide with the present day. I couldn’t help getting drawn in with these characters, as you feel so helpless that the choices that they make, just won’t be enough. Definitely a book that I needed tissues for while reading. This is such a talented author.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, laborer, teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as traveling throughout Europe and South America collecting characters for his award-winning stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction) in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Wasafiri New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Prize, and The Harry Bowling Prize – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost short-story writers.
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife, labradoodle and two tyrannical children.