Prodigal by Michael Waterhouse

Can Stephen Padgett save himself and make peace with his past?
Taken hostage while out on army patrol in Afghanistan, he finds
himself imprisoned in a cell with his translator, Rashid.
The news of Stephen’s disappearance shatters the comfortable lives of
his parents in England and stirs memories of their son’s troubled

My Thoughts


As a teenager, Stephen had many difficulties in both his family life and the general sense of growing up, both of which impacted massively on him losing his way and going off the rails. The army sounds as though it may be the place that can save this troubled teen, as they will teach him discipline, teamwork and respect, alongside a vast array of other vital skills.

The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Stephen, and then his families perspective too. As we are taken on a rather dark and terrifying journey to Afghanistan alongside Stephen, who faces dangers and challenges he had never imagined, and begins to look at his life from a different viewpoint as he fights to stay alive throughout the tour.

This story has you turning the pages at a rapid speed as you follow Stephen’s life changing journey within the army. With every passing chapter, you get a much deeper sense of who Stephen is as an individual, alongside what obstacles her has had to overcome that have made him the person he is today. During his time in the army, you follow his growth as a person, and you want nothing more than for his story to have a happy ending, something I became fully invested in from the start i might add!.

The story flowed wonderfully throughout, exploring the many challenges not only those enlisted in the army come to face, but the inner turmoil and fear that their families also experience as their loved ones take on one of the bravest, yet dangerous roles imaginable. This was certainly an interesting read that had many layers and depths to be explored. A wonderful book.

About the Author

Michael Waterhouse has spent his working life in British television, producing and directing documentaries.
Michael was born in St Asaph, North Wales. He read English Literature at Cambridge University and went on to complete a D.Phil on early 20th century fiction at Oxford.
He joined Thames Television as a researcher on This Is Your Life before becoming a producer of religious, arts and history programmes. Following the closure of Thames TV, Michael was Series Producer of the BBC’s Heart of the Matter. He has since produced a wide variety of historical and arts programmes, including the Emmy-nominated drama-documentary series The
Bible (2013). His most recent production is Bone Detectives, an archaeology series for Channel 4 Television.
Heart of the Matter won several awards for its treatment of medical ethics. Michael’s research into bereavement care led to a book for Constable in 2003. Staying Close looked at how the personal experiences of today’s health
professionals, those facing death and the bereaved relate to the cultural history of dying and bereavement.
Michael has written for the New Statesman, the TES, the Independent and the Literary Review.
He lives in lockdown in Kent with his wife. Prodigal is his first novel

*Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours, Conrad Press and Michael Waterhouse for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*

4 thoughts on “Prodigal by Michael Waterhouse”

  1. Sounds good, I knew some people who were enlisted and saw the impact on their families. Have you read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks? I haven’t but have seen the movie and it’s powerful.


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