Synopses & Reviews
Can a boy on the edge find his way back? From award-winning Icelandic author Fridrik Erlings comes a novel as cruel as it is tender.
Henry has a clubfoot and he is the target of relentless bullying. One day, in a violent fit of anger, Henry lashes out at the only family he has — his mother. Sent to live with other troubled boys at the Home of Lesser Brethren, an isolated farm perched in the craggy lava fields along the unforgiving Icelandic coast, Henry finds a precarious contentment among the cows. But it is the people, including the manic preacher who runs the home, who fuel Henrys frustration and sometimes rage as he yearns for a life and a home. Author Fridrik Erlings offers a young adult novel that explores cruelty and desperation, tenderness and remorse, but most importantly, kindness and friendship.
"Erlings (Fish in the Sky) delivers a moody, affecting character study of a troubled teenage boy. Henry 'had never seen anyone as ugly as himself'; his odd appearance and clubfoot make him a target for bullies, and his stutter and difficulties with reading lead him to keep his emotions bottled up. When Henry takes his anger out on his mother, he is sent to a home for 'troubled boys,' a farm run by a minister and his wife, Emily, on the barren lava fields of the Icelandic coast. Emily's kindness and the solace Henry finds working with the farm's cattle help him begin to feel at home. Erlings poignantly describes Henry's longing for a friend and the pain of rejection. When the minister and Emily take in a delicate younger boy named Ollie Henry feels alone once again, but Ollie's efforts to reach out and his love for books and stories give Henry a chance to heal. Though Henry's story may be too quiet for some readers, it's a poetic and powerful novel. Ages 14 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Fridrik Erlings is a novelist, screenwriter, graphic designer, and musician. He is the author of the Icelandic classic Benjamin Dove as well as Fish in the Sky. Boy on the Edge, he says, is a story "about an individual with a rich inner life but with severe limitations about expressing his feelings." Fridrik Erlings lives in Iceland.