#BlogTour #Review ~ Not Thomas by Sara Gethin @SGethinWriter @Honno @BrookCottageBks #Giveaway


Genre: Fiction
Release Date: 15th June 2017
Publisher: Honno Press
Tomos lives with his mother. He longs to return to another place, the place he thinks of as home, and the people who lived there, but he’s not allowed to see them again. He is five years old and at school, which he loves. Miss teaches him about all sorts of things, and she listens to him. Sometimes he’s hungry and Miss gives him her extra sandwiches. She gives him a warm coat from Lost Property, too. There are things Tomos cannot talk about – except to Cwtchy – and then, just before Easter, the things come to a head. There are bad men outside who want to come in, and Mammy has said not to answer the door. From behind the big chair, Tomos waits, trying to make himself small and quiet. He doesn’t think it’s Santa Claus this time.
When the men break in, Tomos’s world is turned on its head and nothing will be the same again.


Amazon UK

About the Author

Sara Gethin is the pen name of Wendy White. She grew up in Llanelli and studied theology and philosophy at Lampeter, the most bijoux of universities. Her working life has revolved around children – she’s been a childminder, an assistant in a children’s library and a primary school teacher. She also writes children’s books as Wendy White, and her first, ‘Welsh Cakes and Custard’, won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. Her own children are grown up now, and while home is still west Wales, she and her husband spend much of their free time across the water in Ireland. ‘Not Thomas’ is her first novel for adults.

My Review

Once in a blue moon a book comes along that leaves me struggling to write a review adequate enough to do it justice. Not Thomas is THAT book. I found myself gripped from the first page and as I progressed through the book my emotions ranged from disbelief, anger, sorrow, love, laughter, rage and sheer despair at humanity.

Tomas is a five year old boy who lives with his young Mammy (she was fourteen when he was born) and her boyfriend in a house that resembles a pigsty. Mammy (Ree) and Brick spend the majority of their time drinking, arguing, sleeping or watching TV.

Tomas is left to his own devices as far as feeding himself or getting to school. Dinner for him is a packet of crisps, he doesn’t like the blue ones but he saves the pink crisps for Mammy because they are her favourites. His loyalty to his mother is astounding, he is a bright boy who can read and has impeccable manners.

Ree has no patience with him, he remembers the time fondly when they used to live with foster ‘grandparents’ but alas those happy times have gone. He has only a handful of precious pitiful items that he treasures along with his memories.

While this child is starving, freezing, lonely is left wearing stinking clothes where are the people who should keep him safe? The only person who seems to care about Tomas is his teacher ‘Miss’ becomes his world, the mother of a little girl in his class walks him to school yet so many other neighbours, teachers etc turn a blind eye. 

Tomas and Mammy are very good at pretending so when the lady with the bag comes visiting it seems as though they are coping. This soon takes a dramatic turn though and things become sinister.

I cried my way through Not Thomas, Sara has written it from the point of view of a five year old .. so while it may take a little while to adapt your mindset to how a child sees the world it makes it even more harrowing. I wanted to scoop Tomas up and smother him with love. Your heart will break into a thousand pieces as each day with Tomas passes, it makes the reader question what they would do if faced with the same circumstances. While we are all living in our own safe little bubbles sadly stories like this are reality.

I can’t praise Sara highly enough for the way this is written, the brilliance of the descriptions, it’s possible to feel by words alone and my eyes prickled a lot! You will encounter episodes of drunkenness, drugs, violence and abuse so if any of these are *triggers* just be aware but by the end it’s a story I needed to read and I certainly won’t forget it in a hurry. This deserves all the recognition it can get and I urge everyone to have a look. A contender for book of the year for sure.

My thanks to the author, publisher and Brook Cottage Books for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily.  


The lady’s here. The lady with the big bag. She’s knocking on the front door. She’s knocking and knocking. And knocking and knocking. I’m not opening the door. I’m not letting her in. I’m behind the black chair. I’m very quiet. I’m very very quiet. I’m waiting for her to go away.
I’ve been waiting a long time.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’ She’s saying it through the letter box.
‘Thomas, Thomas.’
I’m not listening to her. I’m not listening at all. She’s been knocking on the door for a long long time. I’m peeping round the black chair. I’m peeping with one of my eyes. She’s
not by the front door now. She’s by the long window. I can see her shoes. They’re very dirty. If Dat saw those shoes he’d say, ‘There’s a job for my polishing brush’.
She’s stopped knocking. She’s stopped saying ‘Thomas’. She’s very quiet. The lady can’t see me. I’m behind the big black chair. And I’ve pulled my feet in tight.
‘Thomas?’ she says. ‘Thomas?’ I’m not answering. ‘I know you’re in there. Just come to the window, sweetheart. So I can see you properly.’
I’m staying still. I’m not going to the window. I’m waiting for her to go back to her car. It’s a green car. With a big dent in it. If I hide for a long time she’ll go. She’ll get back in her car and drive away. She’s knocking. And knocking again.
She’s saying ‘Thomas.’ And knocking and knocking again.
That is not my name.


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7 thoughts on “#BlogTour #Review ~ Not Thomas by Sara Gethin @SGethinWriter @Honno @BrookCottageBks #Giveaway

  1. I have read and cried tears of sadness and tears of joy over this book. Can’t recommend it enough. Well done, sara

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