Right from the first explosive page it's hard to put down this book. James Middleton's soft-focus, bittersweet tale of teenagers growing up on a Scottish island in the sixties fast-forwards to a school reunion decades later, and is pulled off with such skill - avoiding the clichés and cloying sentimentality usually found in rites of passage/life retrospective stories - it's hard to believe that this is a debut novel. There are many irresistible features, not least the brilliant dialogue and the author's eye for quirky details like his characters' delightful nicknames. One of them, for example, began life as Robert, which became Rabbert, then Rabbit, and finally Bunny. The 1960s atmosphere is beautifully captured, and it's hard to think of a more memorable start to a teenage romance than listening to The Beatles' Hey Jude single together for the first time. The epiglottis-challenging final scenes will force all of a certain age to reflect on their lives and friendships, whether they grew up on an island, in a small town or a city suburb, but ultimately the message I took from the book was positive. I sincerely hope there is another novel from James Middleton in the pipeline.