Reading my way through this book was like walking through a hall of mirrors at a fairground. Every turn revealed a new reflection of an aspect of my own childhood. Some were distorted more than others, but the story of the life of Jimmy Rova, told in the first person singular, evoked many poignant memories.
Jimmy tells the story of his difficult early life, and the interactions with those around him. When he progresses, against the odds, into grammar school, life gets even tougher for him. The descriptions of the highs and lows in his life cannot fail to stir the readers' emotions. This is a gripping read and it is so obviously wrapped around the personal experiences of the author. Having been previously so deeply moved by "Skallagrigg," I should not have been at all surprised to be just as deeply moved by this book by William Horwood.
I am sure that there are many who, like me, will see reflections of their own lives as they read The Boy With No Shoes. However, there has got to be something here for everyone. I would not hesitate to recommend the read to anyone, and I am confident that my friends will thank me for doing so.
Footnote: If this sweeps you along on an emotional roller-coaster, you should definitely read SKALLAGRIGG by the same author.