‘Your Father Sends His Love’ by Stuart Evers

This story – about events leading up to the death of comedian Bob Monkhouse’s estranged son – socked me in the stomach when I read it and Evers’ description of the cheap Thai hotel where the son dies of a heroin overdose left a lingering bruise: “He liked the clatter of the next-door cafeteria, the low honk of voices, the pouring of liquid, the flames and the fire.” ‘Your Father Sends his Love’ is the title story from Evers’ second collection; almost every story is about a father who loses his child in some way; none of the fathers’ stories are simple, and none are allowed the luxury of self-pity. Because I did not grow up in the UK, I had to learn who Bob Monkhouse was from a search engine; the sad comedian and his doomed son existed for me only in Evers’ world of fiction.

First published in You Father Sends His Love (Picador, 2015) You can find Stuart Evers’ blog here.