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Review of Glasgow Boys by Margaret McDonald

Banjo and Finlay haven’t seen each other in three years. Banjo is in another foster placement and despite getting into a fight on his first day of school, he’s ready to turn his life around. Finlay’s enrolled on a nursing course at Glasgow University and is struggling financially. Making friends and understanding his sexuality is taking up so much of his headspace, nevermind getting through the assignments. Life has not been kind to them both. With Banjo addicted to painkillers and Finlay afraid of forming emotional connections with others, their unstable upbringings have led to trust issues, addictions and low self-esteem.

This young adult novel is full of heart and healing. The story flicks between their present lives and their past three years ago where their friendship was formed but then pulled apart. However, I did want to read more about their history and fully immerse myself in their time together in care. As a story of hardship and being in the foster care system, it was a soft and tender look into masculinity, boyhood and how friendship can change the course of your life.

Reviewed by Victoria.

Glasgow Boys was published on 02/05/24 by Faber & Faber.



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