From Shelf: Favourite Books I read in 2022
Nettles is a powerful exploration of memory and violence, excavating the stories we tell ourselves to escape our past.
It is the first day of term at a secondary school on Merseyside, 2001. The Towers are soon to fall. A boy cowers in an alleyway, surrounded by a group clad in black. They whip his bare legs with nettles. This is only the start. As term unfolds, their bullying campaign intensifies. Soon the boy finds solace hiding in marshland under the nearby motorway. Voices there urge council with Grannies Rock, a strange stone that sits on derelict land known as The Breck. There, the whispers in the breeze promise a terrible revenge. Twenty years later, the boy has grown. He is back home from London to pack away his childhood. Armed with a Polaroid camera, he aims to exorcise those painful memories through a series of photographs. But is his memory of what happened reliable? Nettles is a powerful exploration of memory and violence, excavating the stories we tell ourselves to escape our past.
Format: Paperback / softback