“I keep quiet and she keeps quiet too, until we use up all the quiet in the room so that finally one of us has to say something.”
Although I finished reading this months ago, it has taken me this long to put pen to paper. That is the sign of an amazing book for me, because if I can’t find words afterwards to summarise how it made me feel, then it was because it was epic. I think every individual person will take from this book exactly what their mind and personality needs, and that’s the magic of the characters that Mike Gayle creates and his immense talent at constructing beautiful people with beautiful minds. Not just in this book but in everything that I have read by him.
Danny – a man who doesn’t see the point in doing anything in life, work, relationships, financial stability… Danny has pretty much hit rock bottom when we first meet him but behind all of that is a high functioning intellect, buried a long long time ago.
James – a man who lived a privileged life as an MP and property developer until the ‘incident’ which left him with an Acquired Brain Injury. Seemingly dependent on his parents and sister, James is frustrated as similar to Danny, there is a highly functioning intellect beneath all of the difficulties and complications that he faces.
James is facing respite as his parents, who he lives with and who care for him, are off on a cruise, and it is in the respite centre that James and Danny (having got himself a job) meet.
We follow James and Danny as we learn both of their points of view in life and where they came from and how they came to be where they are today. We learn of their earlier links in life, the very different backgrounds they came from but which threw them together at school by chance. James and Danny are both fighting to be who they want to be, one knows and the other doesn’t. Together they work it out as the book explores new opportunities, independence, advocacy and choice. Above all of that, Mike Gayle creates a voice for people with Acquired Brain Injury – and you will finish this book with a new understanding and new respect, even if you work day in day out with people who have this injury, James’s voice brings it all to life even more.
“It looks a litle eccentric, or at the very least as though her washing machine is broken and this outfit is made up of the only clean clothes she could find.”