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Matthew Crow was born in 1987 and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written two novels for adults. The second, My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize. In Bloom is his first book for young adults.
April 2014 Debut of the Month. As funny as it is moving, this is a wonderfully vibrant and life-affirming story as told by fifteen year old Francis Wotton. Still in the Lower Fifth, Francis should be doing nothing more than studying for his GCSEs, developing his style and sophistication and clashing with his mother. Instead, he is diagnosed with leukaemia. Francis’s life takes off in an entirely different direction as he deals with his illness, how others react to it and, above all, meets Amber. Matthew Crow wittily brings all the complexities of adolescence living and loving sharply into focus adding the twist of uncertainty that haunts his loveable hero. We invited a small number of our Lovereading members to review In Bloom. Here's a taster....'Any John Green fans will adore this - fresh, funny and real. In Bloom will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. I loved it!' - Erin Zammitt Scroll down to read more reviews...
'The fact that this novel is so witty is incidental to how good it is - it has characters you care about deeply and a heart as big as a cathedral' Miles Jupp 'The finest love story I have read in years. Perfect I'd say.' Phyllida Shrimpton, author of Sunflowers in February Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home. Baxter is many things - raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur; but 'good patient' he is not. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare. Then he meets Gregory. Greg is just nineteen years old, but he has already suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going. Seeing the boy's pain, Baxter decides to take him under his wing. Together they embark on a spirited journey to the war graves of Northern France, for Baxter to pay tribute to the love of his life; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. As Baxter shares his memories, Gregory starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live every last second we have while we're here.
'The fact that this novel is so witty is incidental to how good it is - it has characters you care about deeply and a heart as big as a cathedral' Miles Jupp Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know... Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgingly finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home. Baxter is many things - raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur - but 'good patient' he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare - until he meets Gregory. At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going. Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew. With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live. Baxter's Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we're here.
A small town. A missing schoolgirl. A terrible secret. And one girl's fight to survive. Sixteen-year-old Claudette Flint is coming home from hospital after an escalating depression left her unable to cope. She may seem unchanged on the outside; but everything's different. The same could be said about her seaside hometown. A local teenager, Sarah, has disappeared. Sarah had a bad reputation round town; but now she's vanished the close-knit community seems to be unspooling. As the police investigate and the press digs around for dirt, small town scandals start to surface. What nobody knows yet is that Claudette and Sarah had a secret friendship. And that the last secret Sarah shared may be the key to the truth. After weeks of focusing solely on herself, Claudette realizes she is not the only part of the world that needs fixing - and that if she can piece together the fragments of Sarah's story, then maybe she can piece herself back together too. Another Place is a novel about lost girls, recovered life - and the meaning of home.