This is a compelling story with a moving central character. It has a poignant theme showing that no matter how much you strive to succeed in life the motives and actions of others will affect the outcome.
The descriptions of the various forms of bullying Bernard receives are unfortunately very believable and highlight attitudes of many who make no attempt to understand persons less able than themselves. Those that suffer with learning difficulties are particularly at risk since their problems are not outwardly apparent. The attitude of some of the social service professions encountered by the family was most disturbing and shows the fallibility of modern day bureaucracies that are there to protect the vulnerable.
The meeting between Katie and Bernard seemed on first reading to be too much of a coincidence but such coincidences do happen and at that point in the story Bernard needed a break.
Bernard’s tale is one of heartache and struggle but shows with help and understanding it is possible to win through. Much of that help is provided by Zack and Rose, who come across as examples of life’s unsung heroes and heroines. Without such people it is impossible to see how any of us, let alone the intellectually disadvantaged, can adapt to the everyday stresses of living which is a point that comes across strongly in this thought provoking narrative.
Editor, Peatmore Press (http://peatmore.com).
Lane’s End is published by Old Stick Books: http://www.oldstickbooks.co.uk