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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Twelve-year-old Charlie is locked in his parents' basement. Not for an hour, not for a day, but for years. This "punishment" has left him starving, cold, and mildly hallucinatory, as he continues his existence in the dark, terrified of "Father." Tragically, it's the only home Charlie has ever known.
One night, everything changes as Charlie accidentally locks himself outside. Fearing punishment, he flees in terror. But as Charlie's true journey to freedom begins, he is haunted by the omniscient, raging presence of Father and menacing visions of "the spider."
Shaw's writing is seamless. Narrated entirely by Charlie, there is no comforting past tense in this novel. With authenticity, immediacy, and a palpable sense of danger, Charlie's world becomes the reader's own - a feverish nightmare provoking a profound emotional response.
Waking up to find himself in the care of medical professionals, Charlie's eyes open to wonder at the world around him. His first taste of unconditional love is heartrendingly beautiful and his attention to the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted will fill readers' eyes with tears. Snow, laughter, a father's caress, running free, outside.
Ultimately, Charlie is faced with a choice. Will he choose the liberty of the unknown or the "safety" of familiarity? The Boy from the Basement is an extraordinary tale of recovery, of a child's unrelenting loyalty in the face of hideous betrayal and abuse, and of the healing, transformative power of love. Read it and weep. We did. (Holiday 2004 Selection)