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When his father denies paternity, the infant Phil is left with his poverty stricken mother, Annie, in a 1950s West Yorkshire mill town. Burned by loss and desertion Annie’s mental state frequently breaks apart. Before his third birthday she releases Phil to a distant orphanage. A series of separations take their toll on this spirited, imaginative boy who - at every turn - feels violently cast off and set adrift. In this memoir of life under the roof of a 1960s orphanage Phil Barber has travelled with love and a wry humour into the dark earth of his tangled roots. Phil’s story is a winding river of struggles for identity. This is not a bleak and sombre tale; its a search for beauty and belonging among the oceanic pain of feeling exiled from society.
Fatherless - book