Top positive review
39 people found this helpful
A wonderfully evocative tale
on 5 September 2009
Tell friends and family you have gone away, take the phone off the hook and be prepared to be completely immersed in the lives of Jake and Mary. I've just lost the last two days to this wonderful novel and I've loved every second of it.
Growing up on the south coast in the 1980s myself, this is one of the few books I've read that really captures the little details that make the area and the era so magical. This novel creates a real sense of place and time with settings almost as characterful as the two narrators themselves.
Writing with two voices is difficult to pull off, but the two lives are beautifully balanced. Mary, a life detached through alcohol, and her son Jake, struggling with the preoccupations of adolescence and a family that is frayed around the edges. Jake, in particular, really hit the spot with me, from his love of cold November days and Greek mythology, his thoughts on Joey Deacon and Thundercats, through to some moments of real heartbreak. All of this is beautifully conveyed by the author.
As you can probably tell, I adored this first novel and wait with eager anticipation for Ashdown's next.