Little Big Love by Katy Regan
Katy Regan's Little Big Love is part coming of age and part women's fiction. Obesity is one of the themes you'll run into. Bullying, family dysfunction, alcoholism, emotion binge-eating, and parenting in today's world are others. Starting with the setting, which I loved, this story takes place on the North Sea coast in England. The main city is just below Hull, so it's an area I have been to several times as I have family in Bridlington.
Zac Hutchinson is 10 and considered obese. He's reached an age where he really wants to know his father. Mostly, he wants his mother to be happy. One night after a bit of wine, she blurts out that the only man she'll ever love was his father. Zac decides he's going to reunite them, even if his father's name seems to be forbidden.
While Zac and his best friend try to find where Liam is now, his mom and grandfather each take a look back in time to the events that led to Liam walking away. For Zac to find Liam, they'll all have to face painful events from the past. For Juliet, it involves the lies she's told Zac about his father. For Mick, it involves his role and the things none of his family knows.
Little Big Love is told from Zac, Juliet, and Mick's viewpoints. All of the secrets are revealed slowly and definitely impact each character. Everything did get settled, but there were aspects of the story that I feel were settled a little too easily.
Mostly, my heart broke for Zac. That poor kid. His bullies were deplorable little cretins. I was rooting for him the entire time, and I'm glad his coming-of-age story was treated to the ending that takes place. He had me in tears, but it was well worth it.