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Catherine Simpson

Truestory by Catherine Simpson

On a remote Lancashire farm, eleven year old Sam seeks answers to life’s big questions online. His mother Alice’s life is dictated by Sam’s strange ways and her husband’s fecklessness as their money runs out. When Duncan brings home a stranger to help with his latest scheme, Alice is furious. Sam can’t cope with change. But Larry beguiles Sam with his maps, and as he works his magic, Alice falls for him too.

By turns hilarious and tragic, ‘Truestory’ examines how we are all trapped in our own lives, yet sometimes have more
options than we realise.

RRP: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781910124598
Publication Date: 17/09/2015
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Catherine Simpson
Catherine Simpson has been shortlisted in the Mslexia Novel Award, the Asham Award, Bristol Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award. Her work has featured in anthologies and she...


‘Terrific - it's funny, poignant, perceptive and flags up a wonderfully witty warning to parents who leave - unsupervised - their laptop-loving offspring. Highly recommended. ’

Val Hennessy

‘Catherine Simpson does not waste words. She has that rare ability to conjure up people and places, how they look and how they sound, in just a sentence or two. Her writing is vivid, perceptive and acute, and she deserves a wide readership.’

James Robertson

‘Simpson’s novel is a vivid and empathetic portrayal of what it is to be a mother to a special needs child living in isolation. She captures both the poignant and the comic aspects of their situation in this simple and well told story.’

Lothian Life

‘The novel is interspersed with pages from Sam’s online chat-room conversations. His user name is Truestory, explains Simpson, because when an autistic person becomes convinced that something is true, there’s no arguing otherwise.’

The Herald

‘Autism is very isolating and the novel- which is told from the mother’s point of view- explores how it can affect the whole family.’

Dundee Courier

‘Catherine Simpson's debut novel is moving but never mawkish, and ultimately hopeful,providing a sympathetic portrait of a family struggling with autism in straitened times. Sam's on-line interactions with a motley group of friends are laugh-out-loud funny, providing some memorable insights. ’

Sunday Mirror

‘A funny, real read that will make you see that change is always possible. It just takes time.’


‘…the novel is a lesson in recognising the small, more satisfying parts of life and using them as a way forward through the harder parts. Lots for (book) groups to discuss. ’

‘…with its unflinching picture of motherhood, desire and frustration, this debut is ultimately more about hope than despair. More than that: it feels like a true story.A’

Isabel Costello The Literary Sofa

‘A moving, well-crafted, engaging debut novel.’

Portobello Book Blog

‘A very fine first novel.’

The Herald's Books of 2015

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