Whatever happens to those kids at school who are always being tipped to be stars in adult life? Danny Morgan and James McManus – rivals for top honours in everything throughout their school years in Birmingham. Whatever their friends and teachers might have expected, neither Danny nor James is currently running the country. Depressed and unemployed, Danny is facing an ultimatum from his girlfriend Maya: if he doesn’t get out and get a job, she’s leaving. It was an accident that changed James’s life and now he is looked after affectionately by his parents. But his sister Martha believes that the role of full-time carers is destroying their lives – and infantilising her brother. She suggests that James should go into a respite home while her parents take a break. The respite home, as it turns out, where Danny has just got a job. What is the path that has brought these two people to this unexpected place, and where will it take them next?
When it comes to stories of new beginnings, friendship and starting over, Mike Gayle is an absolute pro at this and in his latest book ‘The Man I Think I Know’, we meet two very different men who share an exceptional bond.
Danny Allen is a gifted man who excelled at school, from a poor background, his family were so proud of him and thought he was going to make something of his life. But, tragically things don’t work out and Danny finds himself, unemployed, single and alone. Like Danny, James has an exciting future ahead of him but an accident rips him off of his independence and mentality and he finds himself struggling in life, wanting much more but unable to achieve it. Tried of his mother cutting up his dinner, he runs into Danny and remembers him from school and asks him to become his carer and help him take some of his life back.
I loved this story, it’s a tender tale of friendship between two men trying to make better lives for each other but faced with struggles along the way.
The story is cleverly seen through the narrative of both men and gives a great insight into their thoughts. Danny is a lovely man, he’s kind with a heart of gold but has faced so many problems, he’s become accustomed to failure and feels like he’s useless. But when he meets James, he gives him responsibility and a purpose. James is a smart and frustrated man, with once a bright future, he struggles to communicate with people and longs for the life that was cruelly taken away from him.
Between the two of them, they form a strong bond, a need and a responsibility to help each other lead a happier and more fulfilling life. Their moments together are delightfully funny and tender as they share moments and help each other along.
This is a beautifully written story about friendship and independence. Riddled with frustation, dermination and humour along the way, this book is a story of two broken souls who find solace and comfort in each other’s pain, but manage to come out the other side stronger and happier. A thoughtful and reflective tale about male friendships, their insecurities and heartbreak along the way. A wonderful story from start to finish.
You can pre-order The Man I Think I Know from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th April 2018.