‘What a beautiful, tender, unexpected story. It uplifted me a lot. It was LOVELY’ Marian Keyes
About the Book:
This is the stunning new novel from bestselling author Mike Gayle, for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. A powerful and bittersweet story of an unexpected male friendship and an unlikely love story, a thought provoking storyline told with Mike’s distinctive wit and insight, touching on issues which affect us all. This uplifting tale reminds us of the simple courage at the heart of every human being.
Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side.
He likes to know what happens next.
Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.
The past is about to catch up with both of them in a way that which will change their lives forever, unexpectedly.
But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.
Praise for The Man I Think I Know:
‘Beautifully written, thought-provoking and completely charming…reminds us that the everyday things we take for granted without realising how precious they are, can be snatched away in an instant with catastrophic consequences’ Ruth Hogan
‘That rarest of things; a moving, beautifully written novel about male friendship…I absolutely loved it’ Lisa Jewell
‘Mike is always wise and wonderful, but this is a whole new departure for him – read it!’ Jenny Colgan
‘A very special book’ Tracy Rees
About the Author:
author photo credit: © Simon Weller
Mike Gayle was born and raised in Birmingham. After graduating from Salford University with a degree in Sociology, he moved to London to pursue a career in journalism and worked as a Features Editor and agony uncle. He has written for a variety of publications including The Sunday Times, the Guardian and Cosmopolitan.
Mike became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend, which was hailed by the Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by The Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic’. Since then he has written thirteen novels including Mr Commitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.
You can find him online at mikegayle.co.uk and on Twitter @mikegayle.
Danny has had bad luck in life. Unemployed, he has just been given an ultimatum from his girlfriend- he has to find a job or she’ll leave him. When he spots a job at a respite home, he’s sure he’s not cut out for it. He has no choice- if he doesn’t want to end up alone, he has to take the job.
James was living a privileged life as an MP and property developer. He had it all. This is, until “the Incident” that left him with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). His world from then on is reduced to his overprotective parents and sister.
When his sister books their parents on a cruise for their wedding anniversary, there’s nowhere James can go apart from the respite home, as his disabilities mean he cannot do things for, or look after, himself and depends on the help of others.
The past catches up with the present when James, is sure he recognises Danny at the respite home. Danny is not that welcoming at the start, but when James is put into a situation where he just wants independence from his parents, Danny seems the perfect choice as a carer….
The two begin a friendship where they look out for eachother and where Danny is James’s carer. The book is so powerfully written and I got through it in a matter of hours. Mike Gayle represents the world of disability with great accuracy. I do not know people with ABI, but do know many people with different disabilities. I was born with neurological disabilities myself and so know all too well the discrimination that James faced, as I experienced, and experience it, first-hand.
For that reason, I could immediately identify with James and his fight to be accepted by everyone around him. I admire both him and Danny after having listened to the book.
The thing that really stood out for me, though, was that James fought for what HE wanted for HIS life, and was not dictated to by his parents.
Having had vastly different experiences with carers in my own life, I personally agree with his decision to trust his judgement and as soon as he said he wanted Danny as his carer, I was cheering him on and was right behind him with his decision. I much prefer having someone I know as a caregiver.
To anyone who is sceptical of employing someone they know as a caregiver, I know from personal experience that it works.
To sum up, The Man I Think I Know is an extremely well-written novel about new opportunities and second chances at life and friendship. I was gripped by it and finished it in a matter of hours. This is the second book by Mike Gayle I have had the pleasure of reviewing and I am honoured to be a part of the blog tour for this title.
It’s an outstanding 5 star novel for me, not only because of the representation of disability and life issues, but because of the realistic and occasionally humorous way that James and Danny interact. The family and other characters are very well portrayed, too. The pace is quick but natural and I was captivated!
I felt more aware of Acquired Brain Injury after finishing this. It really is an astounding novel! I really appreciate storylines like this where there is a deeply moving story that also helps raise awareness.
I recommend this book 100%!
Thanks to Mike Gayle and Hodder and Stoughton for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
Where to Buy The Book: