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Daniel Clay is thirty-eight years old and married with no children. He lives in Hampshire in the UK.
April 2009 Debut of the Month. The story of three very different families in one square seen mostly through the eyes of an eleven-year old girl. There is an innocence to her narration but certainly not to the content. In a very disturbing portrait of contemporary society we have her asking questions, sometimes humorously, to the sequence of tragedies that run their course in this tale of dreadful occurrences. It made me both laugh and cry as all good novels should. Comparison: Patricia Wood. Below is a 'piece of passion' from Annabel Wright, editor of Broken..."Compelling, emotionally engaging fiction of the highest order, Broken is a gripping story about what happens to a group of neighbours after an act of thoughtless spite sets off a chain of catastrophic events. The novel opens in a hospital where Skunk, an 11-year-old girl in a coma, is remembering the day her neighbour, Bob Oswald, stormed out of his house and punched Rick Buckley, the shy young man who lived across the square. From this explosive beginning it quickly becomes clear that Skunk’s fate is somehow tied to those of the terrifying Oswald family and of Rick, who – traumatised by the bullying Oswalds – breaks down. Things go from bad to worse in Skunk’s formerly quiet suburban square as the people she loves are drawn into the violence that the Oswalds’ behaviour precipitates. As the narrative speeds to a nail-biting climax, Skunk’s voice – clear, bright, funny and unaffected – imbues the story with warmth, humour and optimism, transforming it from a dark satire of modern Britain into an uplifting book about love and family, about growing up, and about the surprising resilience of innocence. A remarkably fluent and confident debut novel, Broken was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize."