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Rose (rows) is nearly twelve years old, and autistic. She likes rules, prime numbers and most of all, homonyms, which she collects. Her father is a man who struggles with many aspects of life – not least raising a ‘difficult’ child in the absence of her mother and with no stable source of income. However, when he gives his daughter a stray dog, he unwittingly provides a calm and reliable presence at the centre of her world; until the night of the terrible storm, that is, when Rain (reign, rein) disappears, and everything changes. Martin captures Rose’s voice with precision and purity; a narrator with autism is in many ways the most reliable there can be, which makes the moments of intense, aching sadness and flashes of genuine joy amongst the lists and literality all the more impactful.
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