On the destructive impact of parental divorce on children and the war children wage against their parents
Petra Hůlová’s new novel examines the small-scale, private history of a family. Ten-year-old Miky is in the shared custody of his parents, which he detests, just as he hates his new siblings and his stepmother, who has “stolen” his dad. Miky lives in a world of his own, where reality intermingles with the world of mobile-phone and computer games. Misunderstandings, grief and pain lead to anger and revolt. Hůlová considers the rights of parents with regard to their children and the rights of children at a time when the family is breaking down and being reconfigured. She shows how thin the line is between an unruly brat and an unfortunate boy being dragged into the arguments of his guardians.
“Hůlová’s new novel offers an uncompromising view of shared custody from a child’s perspective and tries to answer the question of what exactly the right to happiness means.”
—Czech Radio, Radio Wave
“Daddy Thief is set mainly in Prague. The country is plagued by tropical heat, petrol and diesel cars are now things of the past, and data centers are being built in place of old houses which are no longer fit for purpose. Most children have to wear corsets because their bodies are collapsing due to their perennial addiction to computer games. When they have to write a test at school, they are given pills to help them concentrate.”