Willie is afraid of everything, but he has good reason to be as his mother is abusive and has made him afraid of everything.
From the back of the book: "Gradually Willie forgets the hate and despair of his past. He learns to love a world he never knew existed, a world of friendship and affection in which harsh words and daily beatings have no place. Then a telegram comes. Willie must return to his mother in London. When weeks pass with no word from Willie, Mr. Tom sets out for London to look for the young boy he has come to love as a son."
This is a book that if you were abused as a child, will help you heal as you see how Willie acts and how Mr. Tom responds. This book is therapy. I identified with Willie in many ways, and for some, this book could be triggering when he gets sent back to his mother in London.
However, I loved this story. I sat and cried while I read it at times. Matthew, who hates sad stories, came in and wanted to throw it in the trash because it was making me cry, but I like sad stories when they are attached to hope, love, and healing.
Even though this book will make you cry, it will not leave you hopeless. You will see how people work through abuse, grief, and hard situations. If you were raised in an abusive or neglectful home, you will be taught the right way to parent by a gruff but kind Mr. Tom who faced his own heartache in his earlier life. I love that he reads to William. This is a book that I will read more than once.