A Monster Calls
How we cite our quotes:
He'd told no one about the nightmare. Not his mum, obviously, but no one else either, not his dad in their fortnightly (or so) phone call, definitely not his grandma, and no one at school. (1.6)
If Conor told family members about his nightmare, not only would he have to admit that his mom is dying, other people might think he was crazy or immature. He may be scared, but he's still thirteen. The kid's got some dignity.
Conor had to sleep on the settee every time his grandmother came to stay. But that wasn't it. He didn't like the way she talked to him, like he was an employee under evaluation. An evaluation he was going to fail. (2.50)
Conor's grandma never says anything negative or judgmental to him; in fact, she pinches his cheeks when she arrives, offers to take him in, and lets it slide when he trashes her living room. So why does he think she disapproves of him?
[…] there was his house, small but detached. It had been the one thing his mum had insisted on in the divorce […] after his dad had left for America with Stephanie, the new wife. That had been six years ago, so long now that Conor sometimes couldn't remember what it was like having a dad in the house. (4.38)
Sad truth alert: losing his dad was like practice for losing his mom.