The 10pm Question

Publisher: Templar

Like his desk, Frankie likes life to be orderly and neat. Order generally keeps his anxieties at bay, as do his nightly 10pm conversations with Ma and the daily rituals he shares with best friend Gigs (cricket ace, Fimo modeller supreme).

But then Sydney arrives. With her exuberant clothes, dreadlocks, and constant questions, Sydney subtly disturbs Frankie's carefully organised world, forcing him to ask a hitherto unspoken 10pm question - and ultimately face up to the link between his mother's condition and his own bouts of worry and hypochondria.

This novel dwells on the tender ordinariness of daily life – family relationships, friendships, ways of communicating – in order to talk about things that really matter. It touches on the subjects of mental health and anxiety disorders so delicately, naturally and sensitively that there is never any risk of it being accused of being an 'issues' book.

Exquisitely written and beautifully paced, it is at moments very, very funny, at others heartbreaking as it traces Frankie's journey towards silencing his 'rodent voice' of worry.

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