A life, like a film, has a beginning, a middle and an end. There may be a cast of thousands, millions even, and the action may be smeared over several continents and darkened by war or famine or the ceaseless struggle for power.

But movie goers the world over know that a big budget and a stellar cast don’t always make a great movie.

The story of a life may be left in the hands of just a few key players and acted out on a stage scarcely bigger than a suburban dream. With a humble cast and a budget limited to the income of a professional postman, one such story is the life of Laurence Augustine Rainbow. A child born into a wounded family trying to hold their heads in a world gone quietly mad. A child for whom death is no stranger. A child who, through it all, may still believe in miracles. Even the most concrete of hearts may warm beneath its telling.

The story follows the life of Larry Rainbow, from birth to about sixteen years of age, set in our world from 1990 – 2006. Staying sane while the world around you is going mad requires courage, love and a good set of lungs.

‘Growing up, the family dynamic, the news of the day, the moral compass all get a workout in this FANTASTIC novel by Scot Gardner. I think this was my favourite read of this year 2010.’Emma, via Goodreads