Author(s): Kit de Waal
Mona is a dollmaker. She crafts beautiful, handmade wooden dolls in her workshop in a sleepy seaside town. Every doll is special. Every doll has a name. And every doll has a hidden meaning, from a past Mona has never accepted. Each new doll takes Mona back to a different time entirely - back to Birmingham, in 1972. Back to the thrill of being a young Irish girl in a big city, with a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. Back to her first night out in town, where she meets William, a gentle Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. Back to their whirlwind marriage, and unexpected pregnancy. And finally, to the tragedy that tore them apart.
Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest, this novel does what only the best do: it quietly makes room in your heart -- Chris Cleave on 'My Name is Leon' Tender and heart-breaking -- Rachel Joyce on 'My Name is Leon' A beautiful story told with compassion, urgency and wit -- Stephen Kelman on 'My Name is Leon' A touching, thought-provoking debut -- Guardian on 'My Name is Leon' Startlingly funny. Balances the gritty with the feel good -- Observer on 'My Name is Leon' Deeply moving, compulsively readable and, despite the heart-rending subject matter, often funny -- Irish Times on 'My Name is Leon'
Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer, and a Caribbean father. She worked for 15 years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. Her debut novel My Name Is Leon was an international bestseller, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award and long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize. She has two children.