The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Shopping my shelves is going well, as I have discovered another hidden gem that has been sitting there waiting for me to read it. I picked this up as my ‘To Be Read Pile Tarot Cards’ from Don’t Judge Books suggested I pick up a book by a male author and that led me to ‘The Man I Think I Know’.

I have enjoyed Mike Gayle’s book before, and the joy of having discovered him a little later in his career is that there is a whole back catalogue of books to start enjoying, too.

This book was truly wonderful. I know that it is not unusual to have male characters in books or male authors. However, it does seem unusual to have male characters written with such sensitivity and tackling some more complex emotions and relationships.

James has been struggling to rebuild his life since ‘The Incident’ changed his life forever, and destroyed his hopes and dreams. Danny has made some poor choices in life as a result of a tragic event in his family that he has been carrying the guilt for. Both men used to be on such different paths, but a twist of fate brings them back together in a way neither of them expected and together they help each other face their pasts and rebuild their lives. And a wonderful friendship blossoms along the way.

I really enjoyed the fact that this book gives male characters a more sensitive treatment. It allows them to be vulnerable and support each other through difficult times – and yet present them both as strong without losing the integrity of their character. For me, Mike Gayle has created characters, again, that I would quite happily sit down with and get to know more about.

This book made me laugh and made me cry (sometimes even happy tears) but has also stayed with me since I read that final word. I will be recommending this book to so many people as it was just wonderful and incredibly thought-provoking.

I have one more Mike Gayle on my shelves that is standing unread, so I will be sure to pick it up very soon, as he has so many wonderful stories to tell, about so many wonderful characters.

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