1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed when his mother enrols him for cello lessons. Music-making brings an escape for a child who is struggling to find his way. He becomes enraptured by the lessons with his young teacher and does not release what impact she is having on his mother, a woman who is highly controlling.
A series of holiday courses in the Scottish borders cause him to experience more lessons than he was prepared. When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.
A novel which in part draws upon his boyhood, Gale’s book explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.