Then she lifts the Fish up from the bassinet and holds him out to me. 'Go on, take him.' And to the Fish she says, 'This is your uncle.'
I manage to clap my hands either side of the fish bundle. But I feel like I am holding an expensive glass. Once you're told not to drop it, all you can think of is the glass shattering across the floor.
When the baby is born - in a shabby caravan at a beach campground - it's clear he is not like other babies. But the family will try hard to protect and love and accept him. Perhaps all the more to make up for letting his troubled mother down. The young uncle grapples with his connection to the Fish.
And as he tries to understand his family and its confusing secrets and shame, his sense of his own place in the world begins to crumble. Lloyd Jones's unique lyrical style is mesmerising in this tender story of family bonds, both strained and strengthened by tragedy, and the redemptive power of writing.