This was a shocking, hard to read novel for the first part. You would of had to live under a stone not to know that some Catholic priests used to abuse the boys in their care but Mal Peet writes with such sparseness and directness that I read some parts with my toes curling. Beck’s fate is a much easier read after these scenes despite the harshness of his new life in Canada. It was a great book apart from the fact that, by his very nature, Beck is a uncommunicative loner. This made it very difficult to truly engage with his character at least it did until he meets Grace and his emotions begin to surface. A good read but it left me wanting to know a little more about our enigmatic hero.