A fatal love story about a man who never got over his first love and has been unable to form any real relationships since. That first perfect love was with his half-sister and cannot be.
Juliet is consumed with guilt because she knows that her half brother, Brenton, grew up in children’s homes with no family while she received their mother's love and had it easy. She married Clayton, a successful banker, to please her mother. She respects him even if she doesn’t love him and he treats her daughter Breanna as his own. Clayton has always suspected something went on and is still going on with Juliet and Brenton.
Arcadia Books UK (WEL)
WF Howes Audio
Wheatle's dialogue sings.'
'What distinguishes Brenton Brown, as with Brixton Rock, is a rich layering of motive and emotion that lifts his protagonist far above the pundits' platitudes... Above all, in Brenton's still-enraged mind, social and psychological obstacles to his contentment fuse. So he – and we - can hardly see the joins. That complex motivation makes Wheatle a true novelist, not a sociologist – along, of course, with the robust dialogue, streetwise humour and muscular, mischievous vernacular that grace this book.
Via the mixed feelings and scrambled identity of its hero (who even in his hard-working artisan's life can seem to younger tearaways like "a proper Brixton badman"), it does perform fiction's proper role. It makes us see that strife – on the streets or in the mind – may have many fathers. Both actors and victims, free to change but pressured to repeat the patterns of the past, Brenton and his fellow-Brixtonians show that acts (however reckless) have multiple causes. But they also have "consequences" – of guilt, of hurt, of harm – that will "last a lifetime".'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'While this book was finished long before the (UK) riots, it reminds us of the human beings behind the television pictures. Wheatle understands more than he condemns, but he is tough on his characters. (...) ultimately, this book is about hope. A traumatised childhood, a spell in jail, and getting in with the wrong crowd does not have to mean a life sentence.'