Monday, December 11, 2017

You, Me, and Us, by Liam Hurley

L. Hurley, December 2017

Jimmy Rowland doesn't have a perfect life, but he does have a decent one. He's singing with a band and they're starting to get some breaks. He's got a steady job working in a bar he likes. His two best friends are his bandmates, Tom and Ryan, and they happily share a flat in Manchester--the best city in the world, in Jimmy's opinion--which is quite inexpensive when split three ways.

Then he meets Erin Poppet, and his life blows up. She's beautiful, exciting, and, inexplicably to him, attracted to him.

The construction of the story is interesting. At first we don't know who is narrating the story, not their name, not their gender, not their orientation. We just know that this person is going to meet another person in a coffee shop, a person they were involved with, split up with, and are going to see for the first time in months. It's the feelings and experiences that matter here, not the mundane personal details. It's very well done, and I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing in even mentioning names. Yet the cover matter does, and perhaps I'm alone in thinking that ignoring this information is a better way to experience the book.

Jimmy and Erin, and others around them, take an emotional roller coaster ride over the course of the year. It's strange and interesting, and emotionally convincing. At least one character goes through enormous growth and change.

It's an absorbing book. Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.