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A Song of Me and You: The escapist pageturner of the summer

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It was a brilliant book, guys, on every level. Mike Gayle has this incredible ability to get into the hearts of his characters and make them living, breathing people with problems the same as yours. The banter between them feels real. It's beautifully written and the author can so well capture feelings and emotions and bring them to you in words. Life is not a bed of roses and while Mike Gayle shows it as it is, he also gives hope. Well, Mr Gayle, you’ve done it again. I’m mush. He has the unerring capacity to get you right in your heart. Every. Single, Book! This is yet another wonderfully told story, it’s heartwarming, reflective, thoughtful (I’d expect nothing less!), empathetic, there are light touches of well-placed humour*, it’s moving and very poignant, especially at the end. *There is one part of the novel at the beginning where it resembles a French farce and this is such fun! The tone changes later but then you are so glad of these moments of levity. I adored this book, lovely story, great characters and relationships. It’s happy and sad (tear jerkingly sad!) and just gorgeous. For Helen and Ben, so much has happened in the years between. But just to sit in the kitchen for a while and talk – that would be nice. I absolutely loved the first 70% of this book. But sadly it took an unimaginable turn, that totally threw it’s rhythm and pitch off the scale, 😣becoming an unbearable screech rather than the soothing melodious ‘song’ it ought to have been. 😕

A Song of Me and You | Mike Gayle | 9781529344813 | NetGalley A Song of Me and You | Mike Gayle | 9781529344813 | NetGalley

Before I went to university I wanted to be a social worker — I have no idea why. It didn’t last long. For Helen and Ben, so much has happened in the years between. But just to sit in the kitchen for a while and talk - that would be nice. As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home. Gayle said: “Over the years I’ve made it my mission to create characters that even the most cynical of readers have no choice but to root for, but with Ben and Helen, even I fell under their spell. And I hope that, like me, not only will you instantly fall in love with them, but from the moment they’re reunited (after a 25-year break) you’re going to be willing them on through all their trials and tribulations.”A Song Of Me And You is the nineteenth novel by British journalist and best-selling author, Mike Gayle. At forty-five, Helen Morley sees herself as “A washed-up, middle-aged, part-time primary school teacher, with a broken marriage and her best years behind her.” So when she opens her front door to Ben Baptiste, eight-times Emmy Award winner and lead singer of the award-winning band Bluelight, she’s stunned. Yes, he was once the love of her life, but why would he come looking for her, almost thirty years later? Gayle handles the highs and lows of motherhood, children dynamics, the home wreaking havoc an affair can inflict and the woes of a freshly separated middle-aged woman - with great tenderness, keen observation and sensitivity. Gayle gives the reader humanly flawed characters with depth and appeal, a plot that takes some surprising turns, and plenty of wise words and insightful observations. A sweet, funny and heart-warming romance. This will make a great straight-to-film adaptation, but isn't anything we haven't seen or read before. It's just done well, as it's Gayle.

A Song of Me and You by Mike Gayle - Fantastic Fiction A Song of Me and You by Mike Gayle - Fantastic Fiction

Helen and Ben were teenage sweethearts but now Helen is a primary teacher getting over her husband's infidelity while Ben is a pop superstar and multi millionaire.

I was also born in Birmingham — in my humble opinion the greatest city in the world with the nicest people too. A Song of Me & You is a heartbreaking and utterly compelling second-chance love story. Brimming with emotion, it has much to say about loss, loyalty, and the power of self-belief. An unforgettable read." - Holly Miller This is easily one of my top ten books of the year-I loved it. If you liked Daisy Jones and the Six or if you are a fan of Paige Toon’s Johnny Jefferson books, then you will absolutely love this one! I was hooked into Ben and Helen’s story from the start. I loved meeting Helen. She is trying her absolute best to be there for her kids and do the right thing by them. Like a lot of parents with children who are about to go off to university though, she is struggling with her own sense of identity. She has a fabulous best friend and a mum who help to build her up and amplify her voice but she has an ex-husband who is trying to undo all of the good work that she has done. I just finished reading the book that tells the compelling story of Helen and Ben, and I must say, it left quite an impression on me. The narrative skillfully weaves together the complexities of their lives, exploring themes of love, change, and second chances.

Mike Gayle | Hachette UK Mike Gayle | Hachette UK

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my taste of a lavish lifestyle so clearly depicted here. It gave me an experience I’d never normally have and with reference to real people like Elton John, for example, there’s a sensation of genuineness in the narrative. As I was reading, I cheered aloud. I gave the characters my unheard advice and I cried, as I was so caught up in what was happening to them, completely forgetting I was reading a story and not real events. I had the plot all sorted out and knew just how this gorgeous story would end. Except, of course, I didn’t because Mike Gayle had other plans for the people here, but you’ll need to read A Song Of Me & You to find out what they are. The author always creates really lovely characters although Helen’s ex is a •••• They feel so authentic and I fall in love with the personalities of Helen and Ben. The dialogue between them feels so real they could be standing right in front of you. The lifestyle is such a contrast to each other and yet…… It makes you think. The portrayal of Helen‘s marriage, break up, her actions and reactions to it and the impact especially on her children is done extremely well. Teens Esme and Frankie‘s portrayal is spot-on too and they are also very likeable. Vintage Mike Gayle! It’s full of relatable characters and as Mike takes us on a journey through all their high and lows and we’re with them every step of the way. A Song of Me and You is a wonderful story about the things that really matter in life – family, friendship and falling in love - and a poignant reminder to cherish them while we can. It’s the perfect book to celebrate Mike’s 25 years as an author and I’m sure readers will love it!’ Ruth Hogan A book about friendship, love and heartache. It really is a moving story that takes you through the highs and lows of the characters lives and it’s done so brilliantly.Then their father announces he has been thrown out of the family home and this forces all three brothers to examine their own priorities I've loved every Mike Gayle title I've tried, and though I really liked this too, it constantly felt very cliché, as though I knew what every future step was going to be for the characters, and a better-class Mills and Boon. Sorry to say it, but I did feel that as I read this. Poignant, uplifting and utterly charming, I was swept away by Ben and Helen's story, equal parts relatable and fantastic but always, always pulling on my heart strings. Mike Gayle, then, now and forever one of the best.' Lyndsey Kelk My first paid writing gig was for a listings magazine in Birmingham — (Actually my first unpaid writing gig was an interview with Kitchens of Distinction for Salford Student Magazine. I can’t begin to tell you how terrible it was.)

A Song of Me and You by Mike Gayle | Waterstones

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. She opens her front door one day to find him standing there and after having caught up, they realise they still have so much in common. Helen, by far, is one of my favourite characters. She’s just been through so much and tries to give everyone all of her time and attention, with nobody really looking out for her. I’m sad that she’s not real but she genuinely is one of the best mother figures. A Song of Me and You is vintage Mike Gayle! It's full of relatable characters and as Mike takes us on a journey through all their high and lows and we're with them every step of the way. A Song of Me and You is a wonderful story about the things that really matter in life - family, friendship and falling in love - and a poignant reminder to cherish them while we can. It's the perfect book to celebrate Mike's 25 years as an author!" - Ruth Hogan It is heartwarming to be part of Ben and Helen’s story and see if they can rekindle their friendship and love for each other. I loved the characters who felt real and relatable, and I would have to say Helen’s mum was one of my favourites who was very funny! Gayle shows a lot of compassion to all of the characters which makes the story very moving. If you cry easily at books this is definitely a tear jerker!Ben and Helen were childhood sweethearts, young and passionately in love. Before their university years, Ben and Helen went their separate ways, wanting different things in life. Friendship, love, heartache and hope collide in this unforgettable emotional journey, from the author of Half A World Away. Helen is struggling with the breakdown of her marriage when Ben, a guy she dated in high school, turns up on her doorstep after 20 years. Ben is now a successful musician and their lives couldn’t be any different. So why is he here? Does she honestly think there can be something between them still, now?! Full of relatable characters and as Mike takes us on a journey through all their high and lows and we're with them every step of the way . . . A wonderful story' Ruth Hogan The book skillfully captures the essence of second chances at love, showing that it's never too late to pursue happiness and rekindle old flames. It serves as a reminder that love, in its purest form, can transcend the years and bring unexpected joy.

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