Juliet is consumed with guilt because she knows that her half-brother, Brenton, grew up in children's homes with no family while she received all her mother's love. She marries Clayton, a successful banker, to please her mother. He treats her daughter, Breanna, like his own - but secretly he has always suspected that there has been something going on between Juliet and Brenton. Meanwhile, Juliet and Brenton try to stay away from what they know is a forbidden love...
'The pace of the events which occurs in this book and which affect the characters in immeasurable ways only adds to the beauty and beat of Alex's highly nuanced understanding of life as a minority in contemporary Britain.' A Book Between Friends
Wheatle's dialogue sings.' Guardian
'What distinguishes Brenton Brown, as with Brixton Rock, is a rich layering of motive and emotion that lifts his protagonist far above the pundits' platitudes... Above all, in Brenton's still-enraged mind, social and psychological obstacles to his contentment fuse. So he – and we - can hardly see the joins. That complex motivation makes Wheatle a true novelist, not a sociologist – along, of course, with the robust dialogue, streetwise humour and muscular, mischievous vernacular that grace this book. Via the mixed feelings and scrambled identity of its hero (who even in his hard-working artisan's life can seem to younger tearaways like "a proper Brixton badman"), it does perform fiction's proper role. It makes us see that strife – on the streets or in the mind – may have many fathers. Both actors and victims, free to change but pressured to repeat the patterns of the past, Brenton and his fellow-Brixtonians show that acts (however reckless) have multiple causes. But they also have "consequences" – of guilt, of hurt, of harm – that will "last a lifetime".' Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'While this book was finished long before the (UK) riots, it reminds us of the human beings behind the television pictures. Wheatle understands more than he condemns, but he is tough on his characters. (...) ultimately, this book is about hope. A traumatised childhood, a spell in jail, and getting in with the wrong crowd does not have to mean a life sentence.' Tribune