This is almost a love story.
Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.
But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between?
This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that. (From Goodreads)
Thank you Putnam Books #Partner for sending me this free book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I rate this book a 4 out of 5 Stars.
This is a tiny little book packed full of heartache. It is so much more than a love story. It’s a story of first love, friendship, and the trials and tribulations those relationships go through.
This book is written in two parts, Part One being Ellis and Part Two being Michael. For me, I loved Michael’s part. It was so raw, and emotional. After reading Ellis’s version of the story, it was interesting to see how Michael saw things, how he felt, and where he went for all those years. I wanted to know how he felt about Ellis being married. Was he okay? was he heart broken? Could he let Ellis go?
Annie was probably my most favorite character in this book, even though she has the smallest part. She was smart, and accepting, and she didn’t expect Ellis and Michael to change. She became a part of a trio, instead of wanting her husband all to herself. She knew that Ellis needed Michael, as much as he needed her.
Both men had terrible father figures, mean, abusive monsters who had no right to raise a child. What Ellis and Michael experienced through out there entire lives is enough to bring some tears to your eyes. I loved every page of this book. It was quick but it made an impression. I found this to be written in a very lyrical, gripping way. I now want to read more of Winman’s work.
There’s something about first love, isn’t there? she said. It’s un-touchable to those who played not part in it. But it’s the measure of all that follows, she said.