Little Bits of Sky


In their memory box at Skilly House, Ira and Zac have a single photograph of their mother holding them, her face obscured by a large, black dog. Over the years, their memory box fills with paintings, photographs, memorabilia from their foster families, and experiences with the other children who come into and leave from Skilly House. When they take their first holiday, to Martha in the country, Ira dares to dream of a world beyond the sky outside the bedroom she shares with her brother.

Ira shares the story of her life in care, in ‘Little Bits of Sky’, from the late 1980’s to the start of the 1990s, punctuated by the Poll Tax riots, the demolition of the Berlin Wall, and Ira’s emergence from the shadow of her brother and a life suppressed.

‘Little Bits of Sky‘ is a lovely book; subtle, meaningful and really worth reading.


Little Bits of Sky

S.E. Durrant

(Nosy Crow)

Little Bits of Sky is a warm, heartfelt, stirring story of a life in care. Its gentle tone and thoughtful main character offer a meaningful, lingering reading experience. We join Ira and Zac as they live through the care home system of the 1980’s, without a ‘forever’ home, a family, and a guarantee of togetherness. Yet, despite the privations of life in Skilly House, Ira and Zac are happy. They love Hortense and Silas, their caregivers, and the story Ira creates about Glenda Hyacinth whose name is carved into the tree in the garden. What can Ira create from the box of letters she uncovers in her room? Therefore, how much do they need the permanency of a home such as one with Martha? After all, Martha has never had children of her own, but only worked within the education system. Furthermore, Zac is unpredictable and feisty and Ira defensive about him. Could a puppy make a difference?
Little Bits of Sky is S.E. Durrant’s first novel. Her trademark sensitivity and ear for character zing. Furthermore she has a rare capacity to recreate setting, from places to the time of the novel, with the Poll Tax riots featuring. This title is somehow familiar, yet there are unpredicted twists and turns, and a strong voice and conscience within the book that is captivating.

Nominated for the Branford- Boase Award 


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