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Question: What’s worse than being in a wheelchair?
Answer: Being a fuck-up in a wheelchair.
After a car accident Jarred discovers he’ll never walk again. Confined to a ‘giant roller-skate’, he finds himself with neither money nor job. Worse still, he’s forced to live back home with the father he hasn’t spoken to in ten years.
Add in a shoplifting habit, an addiction to painkillers and the fact that total strangers now treat him like he’s an idiot, it’s a recipe for self-destruction. How can he stop himself careering out of control?
As he tries to piece his life together again, he looks back over his past – the tragedy that blasted his family apart, why he ran away, the damage he’s caused himself and others – and starts to wonder whether, maybe, things don’t always have to stay broken after all.
The Coward is about hurt and forgiveness. It’s about how the world treats disabled people. And it’s about how we write and rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our lives – and try to find a happy ending.
This beautiful book is a testament to the way people can, in spite of everything, reforge shattered emotional bonds and repair seemingly doomed relationships. You won't find a more uplifting read in these dark times -- IRVINE WELSH Laceratingly funny, beautiful and true, true, true - right into its very human and very twisted heart. Read this book -- A.L. KENNEDY Both absolutely devastating and ridiculously funny, sometimes within the span of a single paragraph. You'll want to murder McGinnis' mouthy anti-hero and also take him out for several pints. A big-hearted, quick-witted sucker punch of a first novel; readers who like their brutal honesty with a side of hope are really going to love The Coward -- JAN CARSON A raw and unflinching look at a broken father-son relationship. At times viscerally honest but always gripping as the difficult journey to redemption and hope takes place against a backdrop of addiction, recrimination and an emotionally troubled history. Jarred McGinnis finds truth and humour in the brutal honesty that makes for a compelling read -- MARK STRONG Brutal, tender, moving and funny. Life as a novel -- C.D. ROSE
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