“Alison Whitelock dreamed of shooting her father with a sawn off shotgun. Her brother planned to use the longest knife in the cutlery drawer, and her mother tried to poison him with out-of-date tranquilisers. And he deserved it. This wee book is a bittersweet account of growing up in Scotland in the strange and brutal kingdom we call home. But Poking seaweed with a stick is anything but a tale of childhood suffering. With a whimsical disregard for all that's proper, Alison Whitelock tells her story not as an adult remembering her past, but as the child who experienced ‘all that shite’ first hand. Like the day her day her ponies, Rusty and Silver, got carried off to the glue factory; and the day her school pal Fiona caught a brain tumour and died; not to mention the terrible shame of the blue tit collage and the porridge bowl at the brownie camp. Poking seaweed with a stick and running away from the smell is an enchanting Scottish tale that will have you smiling through your tears and laughing till you cry.”
Review of Poking Seaweed with a Stick and Running Away from the Smell.
The Scotsman. April 10, 2009. pp 18-19.