A. Calder "Helmeboy" (Yorkshire England)
KB Walker draws us into the dark heart of the sensitive subject of self-harming, an all too common perplexing aspect of human behaviour. She explores the subject through the eyes of an apparently naïve trainee teacher and one of her history pupils. We watch in horror as the teacher goes way out on a limb beyond the sensible modern limits for teacher/pupil relationships to try to get to the root cause of the pupil's problem. The inevitable happens and the teacher ends up as the accused for a period before the police identify the problem within the family. It is very much a story of family relationships and the undermining effect on individuals when these are destructive. Gradually, we become aware of the reason for the teachers motivation to help and the cathartic effect that the experience has on her. The writing shows considerable insight and sensitivity in handling a difficult topic. I found the book very absorbing and read it in a day. It is strongly recommended for specialist and general readers.