Boy on the Edge
by Fridrik Erlings
Synopsis: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 Henry's 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.
Henry is an outcast who can’t read, stutters and has a clubfoot. Constantly tormented and teased at school the silent Henry lashes out, in a violent fit of rage, at the only family he has -- his mother. Henry is then sent to live at the Home of Lesser Brethren, an isolated farm for troubled boys. The farm is perched in the craggy lava fields along the unforgiving Icelandic coast and is run by the neurotically zealous Reverend Oswald and his kindly wife, Emily. Henry finds acceptance among the cows he tends; however, he is still unable to build relationships with the people around him and his loneliness threatens to overcome him. In an attempt to find a friend Henry keeps a secret from Emily and the Reverend that causes the tragedy that eventually leads to the family breaking up. The violent and isolated setting is the ideal backdrop for a story about a boy who too is full of violence and isolation. This is a touching novel that is highly recommended.