This is not an easy read. Whether negotiating between Dan’s story, or Alex’s, the reader feels involved and helpless, rather like Alex as he watches and waits for Dan, Sophie and the Georges to turn their collective gaze upon him.
When Dan and Alex are pushed together by parents unaware of their relationship, we feel as tormented as the two boys. We are desperate for Dan to be supported, and Alex to be more Justin Bieber, erase his worries, and be realised for the great boy he is.
Stewart Foster creates the situation of ‘big fish/ little fish’ honestly in this fine novel. There is no saccharine resolution, but a respectful appreciation of each boy’s circumstances. The background characters are drawn truthfully. Alex’s Dad’s frustration with his son’s ailment is real, as is Dan’s mother’s desperation to support her son.
I am delighted to have discovered Stewart Foster’s writing and recommend ‘All the Things that Could Go Wrong’ to Bookwagon readers, unreservedly. This book will stay in your head and heart for a very long time.