Not Thomas

“…one of the most stunning books I’ve read this year”

Anne Williams, Being Anne.

The Guardian’s Not the Booker prize shortlist 2017

Waverton Good Read Award shortlist 2018

Waterstones Wales Book of the Month July 2017

Welsh Books Council Book of the Month July 2017

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The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.

I’ve been waiting a long time.

At five years old, Tomos is sent to live with his teenage mother, Rhiannon, and he’s no longer allowed to see Dat, his beloved foster father. Rhiannon is hiding a drug addiction and she badly neglects Tomos. Her drug-dealing boyfriend, Brick, owes money to his suppliers who bang on the door and shout through the letterbox. One night they burst in…

“This is the human face of contemporary child poverty where the kindness of others, the refusal to look away, can make the difference between life and death. A difficult subject woven into a darkly engaging story. A recommended read.”

Jackie Law, writer & book blogger

Cover Endorsements:

“This novel should be printed on plastic so that the reader’s ample tears don’t blot the paper. Sara Gethin has given us an undeniably memorable character in Tomos, a lovable boy living in the most brutal poverty and abject neglect. It also casts light into the dark shadowlands of child poverty and should act as a reprimand to those who let it continue. Yet Gethin doesn’t forget that the writer’s first job is to hook the reader with a strong story and this one really gets under the skin. A deeply convincing novel that surges with emotion and compassion in equal measure.”
Jon Gower, author, producer and former BBC Wales arts & media correspondent

“Heart-wrenching, captivating and beautiful… a poignant portrayal of a hostile world depicted through the eyes of a child. The story stays with you long after you have read the final page. Gethin writes with profound depth and compassion in this exceptionally moving and powerful novel.”
Caroline Busher, Irish Times best-selling author

“The narrative pace is quick, at times breathless, as one would expect from a lively and care-deprived child, and it contributes to a thoroughly engaging page-turner. Sara Gethin, with her impressive range of writing skills, takes us to a tragic place, a bleak corner of messed-up lives and hopelessness, but she also shows us the warm spirit of human light that can break through such darkness.”
Peter Thabit Jones, poet, dramatist and author, with Aeronwy Thomas, of the Dylan Thomas Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, New York

“Compelling, disturbing, enthralling… ultimately, an uplifting tale… an affirmation of the human spirit. Expect to cry, to run the whole gamut of emotions… thoroughly recommended.”
Phil Carradice, author and broadcaster

Not Thomas – a story of child neglect, love and hope told in the voice of five-year-old Tomos – is published by Honno Press priced at £8.99 and is available from bookshops. Also available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon.

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Reviews:

“…one of the most stunning books I’ve read this year. As I finished reading, I immediately nominated it for the Guardian Not The Booker prize – if there is any justice in this world (and I do hope there will be) this book should be on mainstream prize shortlists everywhere.”

Anne Williams, book blogger.

Read the full review on Being Anne

“… you’d be hard pressed to find a work of fiction in this field with the child’s perspective so skillfully represented… a perfect read for a book club… You will finish this book and not only want to give it to the stranger next to you on the bus, the beach, the hotel dining room, but to beg them to read it.”

Emily May, Inspira – Current Affairs & Lifestyle

Read the full review on Inspira

“Sara Gethin’s writing is formidable, what she is able to convey in such a simplistic way is incredibly effective.”

Bethan Hindmarch, book blogger.

Read the full review on Bethan May Books

“I defy anyone not to be affected by this book… right up there on my list of highly recommended reads. Simply stunning. Simply shocking!”

J B Johnston, book blogger.

Read the full review on Brook Cottage Books

“…a unique book. Bitter-sweet – heavier on the bitter – but fabulous. Truly fabulous.”

Laura Wilkinson, author of ‘Skin Deep’

“Once in a blue moon a book comes along that leaves me struggling to write a review adequate enough to do it justice. Not Thomas is THAT book…  A contender for book of the year for sure.”

Alison Drew, book blogger.

Read the full review on Ali the Dragon Slayer

“This is the human face of contemporary child poverty where the kindness of others, the refusal to look away, can make the difference between life and death. A difficult subject woven into a darkly engaging story. A recommended read.”

Jackie Law, writer & book blogger

Read the full review on Never Imitate

“…in a very similar style to the book Room, which I also loved… Although this book is not a thriller, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Although it’s not a mystery, it keeps you guessing. Although it’s fiction, it depicts a situation which could very well be true.”

Elizabeth, book reviewer.

Read the full review on Chick Lit Chickadees

“This book is by far one of the best reads I have had in five years, the writer is the most exciting new thing to come out of Wales since the Severn Bridge. If you read nothing else this year you simply have to read ‘Not Thomas’.”

Ellen Best, book blogger.

Read the full review on Words and Scribbles

“The beauty of this book lies in the gorgeous, deceptively simple prose… I read it in one sitting, unable to set it aside…”

Carol Lovekin, author of ‘Ghostbird’.

Read the full review on Making it up as I go along

“Every now and then I read a book that sets all my senses tingling with the brilliance of it… this is a dark, compelling story with a gripping plot.”

Judith Barrow, author of ‘A Hundred Tiny Threads’.

Read the full review on Judith’s blog

“Beautifully crafted, this book is a must read”

Jan Baynham, writer and book blogger.

Read the full review on Jan’s Journey into Writing

“The reason you can’t put this book down is because you never want to let go of Tomos… A must for anyone who has a hope for a better world for our children.”

Anna Moore, headteacher

Read the full review on Amazon

“…one of the most stunning books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read…”

Jan Newton, author of ‘Remember No More’

Read the full review on Amazon

“…a vivid depiction of what life is like for a child in a chaotic environment where no adults are capable of taking responsibility. Highly recommended.”

Sheri, book blogger

Read the full review on A Ticket to Everywhere

“If you’re looking for a gripping and compelling story, get this book, it’s fantastic.”

Anniek, book blogger

Read the full review on With Love for Books

Find more reviews of Not Thomas on Goodreads and Amazon

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Sara’s debut novel ‘Not Thomas’ – a story of child neglect, love and hope, shown through the eyes of five-year-old Tomos – is published by Honno Press in paperback and as an e-book, and is available to buy direct from the publisher, from Amazon and from bookshops.