It’s a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street.
The boy’s mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?
I read this short story as part of my World Book Night reading challenge and it’s one of the Quick Read range.
The book starts off addressed to Jerome’s mum and throughout the book we see what is it to be a teenager on a city estate and how Jerome gets tangled up with gang culture and drugs on the streets of London culimnating in a devastating ending. I actually thought he was writing his letter from prison but without trying to plot spoil all is revealed on the very last page.
This is written in teenage slang and how teenagers would speak so yes there issues with grammar etc but I think this makes it more authentic – as if actually from the mouth of a 14-year-old black teen.
It’s a sad reflection on society which reads authentically and very much reminded me of the Stephen Lawrence murder. It’s a quick easy read into inner city life with a sad ending that I didn’t see coming.
Connect with the author Bernadine Evaristo