How far can you push a child?Rocks in the Belly is about a precocious eight-year-old boy and the volatile adult he becomes. During childhood his mother fosters boys, despite the jealous turmoil it arouses in her son. Jealousy that reachesMoreHow far can you push a child?Rocks in the Belly is about a precocious eight-year-old boy and the volatile adult he becomes. During childhood his mother fosters boys, despite the jealous turmoil it arouses in her son. Jealousy that reaches unmanageable proportions when she fosters Robert, an amiable child she can’t help bonding with.
Until the bond triggers an event that profoundly changes everyone. Especially Robert.At twenty-eight the son returns to face his mother. He hasn’t forgiven her for what happened to Robert. But now she’s the dependent one and he the dominant force — a power he can’t help but abuse.Written in two startlingly original voices, Rocks in the Belly is about the destruction we wreak on one another in the pursuit of our own happiness- how we never escape our upbringing- and a stark reminder that the most dangerous place for a child is within the family.A compelling, powerful, and yet beautiful and funny novel.ReviewsJon Bauer excels in this exploration of the mind of a child who, however intelligent and funny he may be, is nonetheless deeply unsure of himself.
A notable first novel.J.M. CoetzeeAnybody who reads this book and isn’t instantly a fan probably wasn’t paying close enough attention. Rocks in the Belly is both a masterpiece and a very challenging piece of writing ... With this beautiful novel, Bauer teaches us the meaning of ‘too little too late’, with an ending that is sure to bring a tear to even the most stoic reader’s eye. FIVE STARS(Bookseller & Publisher)This is such a beautifully choreographed, sensitive and accessible novel, its hard to believe its Bauers first ...
Bauers orchestration of grief and comedy, innocence and pessimism is reminiscent of Kirsty Gunns brilliant childhood tragedy Rain, and has emotional honesty that matches the best Helen Garner.(Australian Literary Review)