At the centre of this book is Oscar, the son of Rozanna Lilley and her husband, Neil Maclean, and Oscar’s particular way of encountering the world. Unpredictably (by most people’s standards), he is indifferent to some things, sharply affected by others. His fears – of the outdoors, of night and the watching moon, of dogs, for example – are frequently disabling for him and unnerving for other people. He also has an endearing capacity for humour and theatricality. For instance, inspired by his reading of the Mr Men series (supposedly good for helping him to understand different emotions and personalities), he responds to his mother’s reproaching him for greed at a hotel buffet. ‘He looks me up and down. “Mum, you are Miss Perfect,” he comments neutrally. “Who am I? Mr Greedy or Mr Messy?”’
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, click 'Sign In' in the top left-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.