First book of the Michael Baker series, A Boy Off The Bank tells a story of England's canals in wartime, of the pressure and pain, the humour and resilience of the boating people. Both tragic and heart-warming, it charts the progress of an arduous and difficult job against the broader panorama of worldwide events, seen from a narrowboat's back cabin through the eyes of a young boy:
Ten-year-old Michael has had enough - mentally and physically abused by his drunken father, treated as a skivvy by his hard-pressed mother, he's taken all that his miserable life can throw at him. The final blow falls when his pet dog is taken away as well; on a January night in 1940 he sets out to commit suicide. But all does not go according to plan...
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