I disagree with this statement to a certain extent in that, Simon, a young man in his late teens should be enjoying his life by going out to parties and seeing his friends, but instead of that he has been living a quite cheerless and unhappy life because his father, Derek died a few years ago.
Now because Simon does not have a stable life it would seem to the reader that he would want to bond with his mother, Debbie and his baby sister Jane, but Debbie has sent him to a boarding school where he hardly sees them.
With Simons dad dead he wouldn't want a replacement for a new father because it would show he is trying to take the original dad's place, but Debbie on parents day turns up in a big, white Range Rover with a man. Joe. Evidence of this is page 20 it says,
"There was a gap in the middle around the Range Rover, Mum and the man."
This suggests that Simon has seen the man and also has a slight suspicion that Debbie and Joe may be starting a relationship he defiantly does not approve of. When Simon comes home he notices many differences in his mum, two examples of which are shown in the form of speech on page 20,
"4 times in three weeks she'd gone out,"
"Hour long phone calls,"
His mum had also bought lots of new clothes. Items such as frilly blouses, frilly skirts and leather boots were much out of character with Debbie, and so this showed that there were many changes occurring with the transformed mother; possibly suggesting that she actually was seeing Joe.
Simon got called out from the school, his mum wanted to have lunch with him. In page 32 the...