The Spider Truces By Tom Connolly

Myriad Editions

ISBN: 978-0956251527 (Paperback)

Ellis is obsessed by the spiders that inhabit the crumbling house where he lives with his dad, his older sister and Great-aunt Mafi – and also by a need to find out more about his mother, whose death overshadows the family’s otherwise happy existence. He is a sensitive soul: awkward and out-of-place most of the time but funny, and endearing too.

From early attempts at relationships, to unskilled jobs, flatshares and drug-addled nights on the beach, Ellis muddles his way towards adulthood. What endures is the strength of the bond with his dad Denny and his affectionate relationship with his intrepid sister Chrissie, who turns up whenever he needs her. The family banter is Ellis’s lifeline and a counterpoint to the constant heartache of his desire to know something – anything – about his mother. Meanwhile Denny, an ex-Merchant Navy man, bottles up his grief at the loss of his wife, refusing to talk about her.