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A Lovely View of the Sea

By Michael Carson

A touching and comic tale of the last week before Stanley Dowd turns thirteen. Stanley wants a window knocked out of the gable-end of his end-of-terrace home on Richmond Street, New Brighton though he feels it might be semi-detached - to give him a lovely view of sea.

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He also wants to be told the secret that concerns the father he never knew. Mum won't tell him. Grandad won't. Gran in the Seaview Home can't. Stanley lives with his mum who is very liberal (though not about his dad), and Stanley's best friend and partner-in-arms. Both mum and son coordinate sleepover sessions: mum with a succession of gentlemen callers; Stanley with school-friend Dominic, whose parents are both doctors. He also talks to strangers (though Mum, advises against it). 

As Stanley tells Mum, How do you know someone's strange until you've spoken to him? He is questioned by Jim the sad milkman who is fed up with trying to compete with Asda, while going without payment from some of his customers in Richmond Street, and becomes friends with 'Disgusting Derek' and many another New Brighton character. Derek and Stanley meet near the sea, Stanley's favourite place in the whole world. But the sea turns on them, and turns the last week of his childhood upside down.

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